For my birthday
An hour after sunrise
This roar of yellow-crested white-breasted cockatoos
In their soar
That a flock is not a throng.
Cockatoos do not dodge and dart along concrete footpaths
Towards towering stacks of desks, opening yesterday’s files.
Their heads are not tucked into chest
There’s no green light to beeline
Or marked lanes to enforce.
On the way, outside the Salvation Army shelter
There’s no bottomless ever-empty cap of coins
From which to avert eyes
Not for lack of compassion
But for its presence in the face of powerlessness.
But they might be us too:
Combs high, wings wide,
It’s the throat that makes them a flock:
full of life.
Passing through, they possess the blue red sky
as brightly as it possess them
Soaring, calling, crying, crowing
Each leading, each following, following, leading
I’m here, you’re there, we’re here
Come here, hear, here
Towards food towards safety towards sun together
Air is rider, rider is air
Wings are magnets – the only force, invisible, beyond any one body:
Tug, and then set, tug and set –
come here, stay there, here, just there
Calling, always calling
In full bodied flow of attention
to our continual throb of connection
No bond glued tight
No culture set fast
But belonging, creating a life continually sewn
Come along come come come
Here hear Here hear we are
You and we
– Naomi Byrnes, 5 April 2017