Posted in Australia, Climate Change, photography, poetry

Call of the Wild

On TV a man asks
is capitalism a parasitic culture?
Will we ever change our ways?

At the beach the gulls screech.
They wheel across the sky then,
out of the coastal scrub,
a white sea hawk flies.
Harried by the swooping gulls
it sounds one wild resonant cry.

Unconcerned and unmoving
a cormorant dries its wings
atop a pole of the old jetty.
Long disused the timbers stretch into the bay.
All that’s left of a bygone age
before the roads were built hereabouts
and all commerce went by ship.

Will the human parasites destroy their host?
Will the seabirds perch on ruined shopping malls?
Will we ever change our ways?



I'm an artist and a writer living by the coast in southern Oz.

29 thoughts on “Call of the Wild

  1. You end with three pertinent question, Suzanne. I have no doubt that nature will outlast us, one way or other! And I do love to watch cormorants drying their wings 🙂

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        1. Not a problem. I’m sitting on my computer after midnight with a bad case of insomnia myself. What a dreadful mess our world is in at present. It’s keeping me awake thinking about it all.

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          1. True but every now and then some intuitive urge makes me take a look at the news. I’m astounded to learn of how hot it is in Europe now. It’s freezing over here – we are having our coldest winter in many years. The climate has gone completely mad everywhere it seems. I feel the people in London expecting 40degrees today. People will struggle to cope with such excessive heat there because they aren’t used to it.

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  2. “. . . All that’s left of a bygone age . . .” Perhaps we’re all remnants of a time before the politics of money. All the more reason to listen in the wild! Thanks for your poetic insight!


  3. Capitalism is a word I’ve been using a lot lately in and around the same discussions that your poem generates in such a clever way… the impression that the birds will carry on regardless is both poignant and prophetic…JIM

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  4. The “one wild resonant cry” of the sea hawk says it all, underscoring the obvious answer to the question posed in the first stanza. Of course humans are parasites; but we can be weaned by feeding our attention to the wild. As you do. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, some are evolving. Did you know some parrots have developed larger beaks slowly since the industrial revolution? I’ll see if I can find the article I read and post it on my blog.

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  5. I think capitalism will have to fall and money become worthless before we get over worshipping it. Sigh. I love your beautiful descriptions of the birds and their wild resonant cry………they own only fathers and are far happier than we are. Smiles.

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