Last Friday I shared, among other things, an image and poemling about kookaburras. At the same time, I felt a twinge of regret because I knew that when those kookas had visited me, not only had I snapped some quick photos on my phone camera, including the one I shared last week, but I had also got my bigger camera out and taken some better shots. But, as I prepared my blog post, I could not find them no matter how much I searched my computer. So, I gave up, and used the photo I had.
And I told myself it didn’t matter if I had lost those photos – the memory was magical, and it was real, and I didn’t need photographic evidence. I even wrote a little poemlet to explore this realisation:
Who’d have thunk
does not need to be captured
to have been real?
(Sally Murphy, 2023).
But, as is often the way, a few days after I had stopped looking, the photos turned up – while I was looking for something completely different on my computer. And the photos were as lovely and clear as I remembered. There was this one:
and this one
and also, one that was almost a perfect shot – a snap of one kooka flying away. I love the detail of the feathers, but wish I had got more kookaburra, especially the top, and less fence. Except, maybe I don’t really wish that – because the perfection isn’t in the image, it’s in the memory of these three birds visiting me in a way I had never experienced before. Who needs a photo? Still, I wrote another little poemlet about this moment.
almost perfectly captured.
(Sally Murphy, 2023).
Speaking of fleeting moments, I can’t hang around today because I am off to a wedding. My lovely niece and her fiancé are to be wed this afternoon, and so I am flying off (see what I did there) to get ready.
Before I go, here is an excerpt from a bush ballad titled The Kookaburras, by John O’Brien, published in 1921:
Fall the shadows on the gullies, fades the purple from the mountain;
And the day that’s passing outwards down the stairways of the sky,
With its kindly deeds and sordid on its folded page recorded,
Waves a friendly hand across the range to bid the world “good-bye.”
Comes a buoyant peal of laughter from the tall, white, slender timber,
Rugged mirth that floods the bushland with the joy of brotherhood,
With the rustic notes sonorous of a happy laughing chorus,
When the kookaburras bless the world because the world is good.
(You can read the rest of the poem here).
And, if you have never heard a kookaburra chorus – or if you just need cheering up today – there’s this: