Smashing it all to pieces and bringing it all back

Georgina Woods

 

Aquila audux folds its umber wings with

regal eye on me in offering.

I kneel in trembling thanks and take

the power to dismantle engineering.

 

Wing-whoosh reefs up concrete from the creeks.

Talons grip the bark of fallen stags and

hurl them over drains to curb the water.

Blade of my beak tears the weeds away.

Cry from my throat summonses cedar saplings

in the streets. Decades are pouring from me

raising trees. I flex cellulose

against the steel, and steel retreats.

 

Hunting over roads, my glower tears

asphalt and I roll the chunks aloft

between my thighs and shed waste to the soil.

I work the sticky balls down to pitch

marbles that drop harmless to the ground.

 

Water-fowl fluster at my passing shadow.

Squall and shriek in circles as I dive and

concrete cracks and shatters. I’m the eye of

bird-whorl as the flooding reed beds rise and

water claims back the wading lands.

 

In my wake, the flocks return and settle.

 

Crowds of people stare in awe but soon

grow quarrelsome. My mantle-tearing slows them

down and bows them round, meandering.

 

Elders and kids, I hope, will be delighted

at the birds’ return. As for the rest,

they may carp, but none would ever

choose to put it back.

 

Georgina Woods is an activist and poet living on Awabakal and Worimi land in Newcastle. She has a PhD in English literature from Newcastle University and works in environmental advocacy. Her poems have appeared in OverlandVisible Ink, and the 2016 Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology and Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology.

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