Words to Birds : Libby Goodsir

A longer poem sequence from Libby Goodsir in Tasmania.  Click on read more to see the full piece.





at dusk the russets of maple 

lace into purple

a perfect design settles on

gingerish limbs

tail tucked   white trim

throat texture cream fluff

downy suede of side feathers

a tuck of emerald by the ear

lustrous round eyes

beak tipped lolly pink

a ceramic   a procession

a trophy    pure music

Throat Strings

notes and feathers


lines and keys

nothing titled

deep song perched

blowing full force

on ancient

dreaming tracks


pale ochre

sun parched cadmium

plump in mountain light

warbles from soft forms

make  slow marks

on cream breast sky


the honey of his gaze

painted the evening

washed like an artist

caresses the throat

brushes of sadness

wan  velvety  a trace

The blackbird

a jewel smooth as deep time

came and went

flying north

making a song of it


the air tastes damp and nutty

the turning season

of smoke and decay

nest building and leaves curling

endless summer has drawn

to a close

animal kingdom makes its


I too am ready for the incoming time

of death and darkness

where new pieces will propagate

thicken   stretch


Stone still


sloping shoulders

as though searching

for a fallen melody

notes in the dust

At noon

from our walnut tree

a dark plump peewee 

with white-trimmed wing

takes off

its snowy fan quick and


reminding me of grandchild

black jacket

wild and white shorts

flipping past on bike

spirits so lit

laughter like fire crackers

Butcher bird

she delivered notes into the warm air

clean and sharp

like a lasso

flicked and then across

a loop of five or six 

until another song

silky smooth

cradled the sky flat again

Morning Communion

sucking on sudden juicy stems

an eye and beak open

point upwards

stretch to catch the sun

bend again to drink holy dew


our magpie

sings just one note

holds others back

as treasure

then spreads its throat

like a fan

waving melodies

down the gleaming river

The wattle bird

sings for its mate

for the song itself

offers love notes

to presiding sun

and falling dusk

in between

sings for its mate

sings for the song 

She covered ground from

one end of the garden

to another

no song

heavy underneath

as if in a bog

in a fast rustle

she lifted

still refusing to sing

Tiny feathered bones

fantailed into the

falling stillness of dusk

She unfurled herself

like paper

touching and rubbing

random as the wind

It’s that time when the day

sits down with country

and the country goes quiet

not a bird wing tremble