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Two Poems by Alex Hand

The night and I

Silky darkness,
Alabaster crescent
Infinitesimal me

Carbon-rich biped
Staring out
Into the night

Life is just enzymes,
On the move,
Nothing static.

Ebb and flow,
Of amino acids,
Reason to smile.



A family of magpies settled at our backdoor,
We called them Maggie, collectively.
(thought of Dame Maggie Smith,
But light years from her at no.10, mind).
They sang arias Tosca would have wept for,
The notes wafting into the azure afternoon,
Heads arched back beaks gurgling sweetly.

Our neighbour but one, had his tree felled,
Wanted to subdivide his land,
But there was no division, no sale, just divorce.
Maggie’s family home crashed to the ground,
They’ve gone; no more the seraphic serenades.
Even the whip crack bird was the occasional tenant
In that marvellous tree, embracing generations.

Our house was built in 1890, a typical Queenslander
There was already a decent sapling next door by then,
Its roots pushed out on their subterranean stretch.
It wasn’t a crime to cut it down (Christopher Stone may disagree
As it’s now enshrined in US law, nature has rights),
But it’s a crying shame, all that life in chaos.
Every man and his dog know good trees enrich the soil.

There’re kids outside with some free Brisbane Council natives,
A bag of chicken poo, a pile of mulch and the hosepipe,
They’ll own their tress into adulthood with hazy memories.
Rainbow lorikeets, which I first thought were parrots,
Will arrive in chattering pairs a few summers from now,
And chase off magpies looking to settle, aerial warfare.
Maggie’s gone, but slowly we hear a Magpie sweetly sing.