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U3A Writing: The Arrival

From my boat on the river I observe their arrival:
two tiny bee-eaters from Kakadu,
winners of the spring marathon.

John Leary's poem expresses the joy of observing the natural world.

From my boat on the river I observe their arrival:
two tiny bee-eaters from Kakadu,
winners of the spring marathon.
Theirs is a casual triumph:
no fans will sing their anthem
or raise a five-ringed flag
while they stand with flowers
on a flimsy, tear-stained podium.
There will be no ticker-tape,
no media hype, no PM’s SMS,
and though they have known the loneliness,
they will not boast in tonight’s bar
of PBs met and goals attained.
For they obey different imperatives:
they know their autumn campaign
must begin today.
They make a cursory inspection of the cliff-top nest,
then, business-like, they are gone
to join the swallows at the bridge,
hunting their evening meal,
while I, lone spectator-poet,
hunt for words
to honour Olympian gold ...

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