Noisy Birds ~ Katharine Coles


Anything but melodic, from the trees
They cacophone in Australian, making me
Want to pin them down, to name
Their othering. They sound more

Annoyed than symphonic, not
Talking about me, but about
What lives in bark and weed, fat
Grubs waiting to be winkled,

Fruit and ripening seed, that bird
Just over there who may be
Ready at last to woo
Or be wooed. The females

Make the decisions about that
Sort of thing, despite the usual male
Postures and clumsy rushes
The females disregard. And when

Their mates go foraging, the females
Look for a little something
Extra, if you know what I mean. For now,
For all I can see, they masquerade

As leaves, or fly so fast they blur,
Or vanish into voice, as if it were
All their lives are worth. Some
Other woman might be tempted

To make sense, to formulate
A fable, or, worse, an allegory –
Birds, noise, who can or can’t
Be seen or might be listening

Or ticked off, I’ve let things
Tend that way – but that would be
Too easy. In real life, a stranger
Crosses grass under trees, being

Her human body, desiring
Just a glimpse, their
Own swift beings making
All the noise they need.