The Wisdom of the Birds
by Daphne Alexopoulou
The ravens know, annoying as they are,
loudly displaying their disapproval all day
adding their cries to our growing unease
from the happy treetops of our suburban paradise.
The rainbow lorikeets sound happy
but then, I don’t speak bird.
I jump out of my skin when blue-tongued lizards
hiss as they hold my gaze,
still steep my eyes in jacaranda blossoms,
still smell the summer sun, mid-spring,
when the day starts outside my window,
still wonder where
the honey blossom perfume is coming from.
I read food ingredient labels and provenance charts
in the supermarket, watching after my health,
wondering, didn’t I just read only eat Atlantic Salmon or …
something is wrong with milk, what was it now,
where do I turn to next.
How old was Cassandra
when she spoke what she saw – twelve, thirteen, sixteen?
She looked at the sorrow straight in the eye,
unblinking, a sorrow grown men could not bear,
the apocalypse unfolding in front of them.
We’re grieving, make no mistake about it.
Holding our kernel of hope in the palm of our hand,
hoping that walking by, ignoring the battle lines,
making the best of it, will work for us this time round
and we leave the outrage to the children.
The ravens know.
Author’s note —
Ps. This was written pre covid. I was annoyed with people Greta bashing, because she’s too young to know the truth.