Mark Tredinnick’s ‘Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo at Dusk’

 

 

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo at Dusk

 

 

Mark Tredinnick

 

 

We sense and we experience that we are eternal

—Spinoza, Ethics, Part V

 

 

The white bird high in the crown of the elm is a better idea

Than any you’ve had all day; a smarter prospect than her name

 

Implies. She’s a flag of erotic surrender, an outbreak of love

In the middle of June. Behind her, the whole sky is a ghost, hunched

 

Inside his famous grey raincoat, and a rainbow hangs from his pocket

Like an old joke. Dusk swells and strands the tree in halogen floods.

 

You, at your window, are the bird’s entire audience, and she knows it,

And she drops from the treetops and flies at you as if she doesn’t mean

 

To miss—until just metres from the glass she departs hysterically,

From the script, and does. The world works best when it misses

 

Its mark. Good ideas rush you, but never quite arrive, leaving room

For doubt and time for questions. A life lived there is a life in love: desire,

 

Growing wise in the attempt, flies from how things look to what they are

Or might be yet, and your body, losing its footing, becomes your soul again.

 

 

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