Tag Archives: Judith Wright

Hunting snake by Judith Wright

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Sun-warmed in this late season’s grace

under the autumn’s gentlest sky

we walked, and froze half-through a pace.

The great black snake went reeling by.

 

Head down, tongue flickering on the trail

he quested through the parting grass,

sun glazed his curves of diamond scale

and we lost breath to see him pass.

 

What track he followed, what small food

fled living from his fierce intent,

we scarcely thought; still as we stood

our eyes went with him as he went.

 

Cold, dark and splendid he was gone

into the grass that hid his prey.

We took a deeper breath of day,

looked at each other, and went on.

 

Source:  A second Australian Poetry Book compiled by Barbara Giles (Oxford University Press, 1983)

Parrots by Judith Wright

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Loquats are cold as winter suns.

Among rough leaves their clusters glow

like oval beads of cloudy amber,

or small fat flames of birthday candles.

 

Parrots, when the winter dwindles

their forest fruits and seeds, remember

where the swelling loquats grow,

how chill and sweet their thin juice runs,

 

and shivering in the morning cold

we draw the curtains back and see

the lovely greed of their descending,

the lilt of flight that blurs their glories,

 

and warm our eyes upon the lories

and the rainbow-parrots landing.

There’s not a fruit on any tree

to match their crimson, green and gold.

 

To see them cling and sip and sway,

loquats are no great price to pay.