Cockatoos, by Carole Bromley
Dusk and the bovver boys are back,
in twos and threes at first, or maybe just one
with his Mohican raised, grabbing
the tallest snow gum and screaming
come on then, come on what ya waitin’ for
chicken the lot of ya. Then a rival
choosing the edge of the storm drain
as his patch. Yah! Come on then, I dare ya
show me what yer made of, yer all talk
and, grumbling, heckling they beat it
or join the gang, raucous as ever,
Arrrrgh Arrrgh as if they’re on
the receiving end of a Chinese burn.
They have their favourite spots
for hanging out, or hanging upside down
from the ends of twigs, splatting contempt.
From sundown Telopea Park’s a no go,
they take over every tree, commandeer the grass,
try every nut and pebble, gob them out,
balance on one foot, preen their Elvis quiffs,
jockeying to be cock of the walk
jostling for the best position on a branch,
ganging up on passersby, warning off dogs,
other gangs, a flock of trilling carrawongs.
Then, as suddenly as they came, they’re off
winging it across the dark like vengeful ghosts.
Copyright the author and first published by Friends of Rowntree Park 2015.