Diane Fahey

Diane Fahey’s The Wing Col­lec­tion: New & Selected Poems 
was pub­lished by Puncher & Wattmann in 2011, and was short-listed for 
the John Bray Poetry Prize in the Ade­laide Fes­ti­val of Arts Awards, 
Diane has been selected for Aus­tralian Poetry’s Tour of Ire­land in 2013.



Four Black-Winged Stilts

At the Bar­won Estuary

As if linked by elas­tic thread, they lift,
trace a sound­less arc across the river–
botan­i­cal, some­how, with their taper­ing
leaf-wings, their stem-legs. They for­age
then rise as one again, drift through adverse
winds back to their spot in the shal­lows,
touch­ing down at the same instant. 

Stilt hatch­lings – brown-flecked heads and wings
sturdy legs half their height, fine bills a pointer
of things to come – are most eas­ily found
in field guides, a dab of light in each inky eye.
Their future is to fre­quent marsh­lands,
make brisk for­ays across the water –
some­times, with soul mates in triplicate. 


East­ern Rosellas

In a troupe they arrive one misty day
to give a musi­cal tirade upon
the cherry plum’s bare boughs.
The lilt of their speech evokes the cries
of chil­dren at play – pierc­ing, tremu­lous
 – and those of ancient scolds shrilling
what’s what in no uncer­tain terms. 

The pri­mary force of yel­low and red
is finessed by the gold-edged black lace
down their backs: such solid appari­tions
they leave after-images in the air;
their speech, as I later recall it,
marked by swoops and lifts so gid­dily swift
they could only be voiced by those who fly.