By Jeremy Gadd    One week day while walking down
Wattle Street, I heard a cry that
brought me to a halt in mid-stride
like a prisoner shackled to a wall,
and my heart missed a beat, as if I’d died.
It wasn’t an infant in distress, someone
being beaten or a woman wailing but
over the growl and heavy hum of traffic
I had heard the keening cry of a corella,
that small white parrot with blue-ringed eye
that is prolific in the outback interior
and the equatorial north of the country,
and was transported to another time,
to another place, in a previous life,
before, by necessity, being bound
to an office desk dealing with the
inconsequential, coping with the
grind of a daily diurnal commute,
abiding by train time-tables simply
to keep body and soul together.
Happier, more languid days had once been
spent watching the antics of crowds of
corellas as they argued, mated,
defecated; their antics as amusing
as circus clowns as they raucously
shredded native fig trees beside
billabongs on tropical Top End wetlands.
And I saw again the corella
covered trees and their feathers
falling like white confetti, the
flocks turning like indolent galaxies
as they moved from tree to tree;
saw again the dignified gait of a goanna
before it scuttled between buffalo wallows;
saw the snouts of semi-submerged crocodiles
patiently waiting for prey to swallow;
felt a file snake’s rough skin squirm
beneath bare feet as it wormed
in the mud among pandanus palm roots
and, looking up through low-slung
wires towards the high-rise city towers
occupied by corporate suits
pecking at keyboards like battery hens,
I saw two birds, lost and crying,
in a tree, suffocating from noxious fumes.
And as memories of that past Elysian
period re-surfaced in my mind, as if
dragged like salvage from subconscious depths,
bringing a beatific smile to my face
and eliciting tears from my eyes,
I remembered a moment that had been
and sights that would never again be seen –
by me.  And as I watched the corellas wheel
and fly, two pieces of purity against tainted sky,
I knew that which has been experienced
can never be taken away; that which is
known is with us to our dying day.                           
   About the Author:authorOver 220 of Jeremy Gadd’s poems have appeared in newspapers, periodicals and literary magazines in Australia, the USA, UK, New Zealand, Germany and India and he published four volumes of poetry: Reflections While Flying on Empty, published by Aldrich Press, USA, 2015;  Selected Poems, one hundred previously published poems (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2013); Twenty Six Poems, a chapbook published by the AICD (Sydney) in 2000 and A Tale of Tai Ringal and Other Poems, a livre d’artiste with engravings by P. John Burden, published by the Bournehall Press, England (now found in rare book collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Samuel Paley Library, Temple University Library, Philadelphia, and the Reid Library in Western Australia).