Hop, Skip, and a Jump: Brisbane to Sydney

Sunday 23 September 2018.

Flights between Sydney and Brisbane take just over an hour by passenger jet, here a Boeing 737-800 (twin-jet).

Brisbane airport is against Moreton Bay. Taking off facing north, a series of right turns brings the coast into clear view under the B738’s left wing.

Coastline, just off Brisbane Airport: Queensland never takes long to welcome Spring.

The east coast has the (Great) Dividing Range, a coastal ridge to break the monotony of the flat while you chew on your meal.

Half-way mark: Australia is flat and dry.

“Cabin crew cross-check and prepare for landing.”

Sydney: The capital of NSW prides itself on its harbour and bridge, a little less on its seasonal blustery segue from winter to spring.

Sydney airport, at Mascot, lies set against Botany Bay, where Lieutenant James Cook first landed on Sunday 29 April 1770.

Botany Bay

Sabbath of Return

Evidence of the creator’s handiwork is everywhere. Trees stand as salutations to divine awe and order, in orthodox obeisance.

May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.




I see your trees, stacked, one against the other,

manning the station; at attention guard the procession.

They even bow, shake hands with the neighbour.

Care for their little.

They take in visitors – all comers. Even a comfort stop they won’t not allow.

They take the great foundations of earth as their bedrock home.

And lie in repose, when their work is done.

And rare do they exclaim for eructation.

Today and tomorrow; the by-and-by.

But dare not demand this my.

To stutter and swing peels in coriander.

And give.


Dedicated to Lemanshots

My Melodious Thunk: Ode to the Gouldian (Rainbow) Finch

My Melodious Thunk

Stray not far from the riverine,
from this narrow-leaved Scribbly Gum,
my Carpentarian beloved.

Stray not from the winter waterhole, my passerine,
from our Eucalypt where I peek your plum-coloured chest
and long to caress your brilliant head feathers.

Make hay before the wild hot fires burn,
before we turn to ash. Let us cash in on the night,
and delight in the revelry of the cool.

Skip me a song, sempiternal brood-night belong,
in kiss-feeding the dark, this Melodious lark
marks the Gouldian gape of our son.

For our moment is now. Here. In this Eucalypt hollow on the sodded plain.

No need for the heady charms of the bokikokiko, my love. No need. Though my colours woebegone, pearl-pressed breast, compared to yours. An ugly suckling, look how you grew your distinguished blueback — your duck egg blue — Emperor-Penguin deportment.

Walk tip-toed, my love, short thighs perched high; cylindrical nub and breastplate erect, ample, my warrior prince — the Humpback got its sides all wrong. Breadth of beam, suit-tails I seek belly mandarin, my cuddly one; rocking-horse charm for chicks to play.

And resemble the Toucan, and a mantle flush of cyan, allied to a rounded head leading wantonly, good-naturedly, to a neck of fine. Reach, fidget, plucky. A once whimsy, perspicacious head.  Your beak, broadly tapered, envy of Darwin and Choaps;

Straddled, lustrous, charming bespoke reflective, big black adoring eyes, perfect selective; foliage of two great palms, lofted high above your belly’s earth, far below the horny capstone, adorn obelisk each side.

Don’t fret, pet, yet black your head and mine all red, bedraggled plume mister
this sister watch you ruffle your gleaming cage: Don’t flinch![1] I’ll give you but sons;
four cocks to one. We will read them the Tales of Kribati.

Not so comely they’re now:
droopy wings, cross toad and a quail;
with the hippopotami’s head but instead,

Like you and I, will come, two-score on,
prized for their comely call, green language, a song:
fledged; cajole and behest.

Daren’t hurt an ‘sect: one-horned, perse-breasted seed-eater;
forage the dry floor, spinifex wet. If not for the captives we’d be
threat’nd; my granivore, my love.

You know I prefer it dry, and cool; but not too dry.
Yes, early brooding is best; when you ruffle your brilliant feather
mister, beat your plum-coloured chest.

Hark! Benu, or the Bush Stone-curlew’s call? The “weer-loo” trill! Hearken.
Clutch dwindling, our haunt under threat. Brilliant kindling, the fire’s all set.
Custodial fence nor fabricated nest. Wild pair bewailing, wild pairs’ regret.

Steady. Steady, my riparian love. Care the rising palustrine, the perigean spring.
Mix our rabble. Mix. Long-tailed and masked — ‘stinct against predation, ‘xtinct to the last.
My Melodious Thunk.

P. Bobby



Gouldian Finches are Australia’s most spectacularly coloured grassfinches, and are perhaps the most spectacularly coloured of all Australian birds. They are small birds, with a bright green back, yellow belly and a purple breast. The facial colour is usually black, and is found in about 75% of the birds. Red-faced forms make up about 25% of the population, and rare, yellow-faced birds occur from time to time. The yellow colour results from a lack of red pigment in the red-faced birds. The males are brighter in plumage than the females. Young Gouldian Finches are dull ashy grey on the head and hind neck, becoming olive on the back and tail. The underparts are brown white, paler on chin, and have a faint yellow tinge on the belly. The upper bill is blackish and the lower bill is pinkish white. The end of the beak is tipped with red and there are pale nodules on the gape.

—Birds in Backyards