Whip-birds calling

We’ve sealed the northern corner where the highway
skirts the spur –
four concrete pads, then asphalt tarmac and
we ran a line of flag poles where the ti-tree
thickets were
and chromed the pole beneath the plastic ram.

But we have a problem neighbour who we’ve
asked to clear away
his ti-tree from the fence-line. You can see
that we can’t wear clumps of ti-tree with their
shades of scaley-grey
clashing with our matching plastic bunting. We

have trouble, too, with whip-birds, they are his of course,
our clearing
rubbish up cleaned ours out. They destroy
our up-and-running image; traffic drowns their sounds
in evenings.
But early in the morning, Hell, the noise!

Who needs sounds from creaking eras, traps and jinkers,
bullock drays
grinding by with squeaking swingles creeping on,
goad-and-whip-steered down to Sydney — sounds from
time-for-waiting days
that should be back in books where they belong?

Now we tried to act like neighbours, be constructive
said we’d hire
a ‘dozer or, because we’re out of town,
we could torch the lot next autumn; when he
snarled we asked the Shire
but the greenies on the Council turned us down.

Things are tough in bunting country when your
image withers and
we doubled trouble when we tried to show
that team of screaming greenies, who will never
understand,
why the whip-birds and their ti-tree have to go.

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