New Year’s Eve 2019

The wind lit bonfires
in East Gippsland
inviting more guests
than it knew how to handle

eight days later
the hem of the surf
on the Mallacoota Beach
wears bright colours

The Age Report, 7 January 2020:

among the ash and hard to see at first
is the familiar bright plumage
of some of our most iconic birds

vivid blues, yellows, reds and greens of
rainbow lorikeets of crimson rosellas of
yellow tailed black cockatoos
whipbirds, honey eaters and robins

we walk carefully, not wanting to step
on the carcasses of dead birds
the closer we look the more
we begin to comprehend the extent
of the carnage

it is overwhelming
and deeply sad

Gail Hennessy


Gail Hennessy has been published in national newspapers, poetry magazines and anthologies. She has won national and local prizes. She is the author of three books of poetry, Witnessing (self published in 2010), Written on Water (Flying Island Books 2017) and The M Word (Girls on Key 2019).

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