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 Overland, Visible Ink, and the 2016 Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology and Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology.