Castle scaffolding tall in moat,
the dead trees in the dam
flower each morning with birds.
It can be just the three resident
cormorants with musket-hammer necks, plus
the clinician spoonbill, its long pout;
twilight's herons who were almost too lightfoot
to land; pearl galahs in pink-fronted
confederacy, each starring in its frame,
or it may be a misty candelabrum
of egrets lambent before saint Sleep—
who gutter awake and balance stiffly off.
Odd mornings, it's been all bloodflag
and rifle green: a stopped-motion shrapnel
of kingparrots. Smithereens when they freaked.
Rarely, it's wed ducks, whose children
will float among the pillars. In daytime
magpies sidestep up wood to jag pinnacles
and the big blow-in cuckoo crying
Alarm, Alarm on the wing is not let light.
This hours after dynastic charts of high
profile ibis have rowed away to beat
the paddocks. Which, however green, are
always watercolour, and on brown paper.