Ralphie and Freddy’s bird gang, it lived out on the street,
Performing many feathery feats with 50 lorikeets,
It flew through countless trees and yet never came to grief,
Ralph and Fred had the life of riley but never washed their feet,
Each day they dodged and weaved, with their high pitched irritating squeaks,
But nothing made their joy complete,
Like their noisy corroboree treat.

Oneday Ralphie addressed his crew, outside old John’s shack,
“Am I chairman of this motley crew,
Am I leader of the pack?
“As your CEO I say to you I get whatever you lack,
“Although you have everything your brains desire,
“You never pay a zack, and you can even fly higher,
“So hear me out so I don’t need to shout,
“And show a bit of love back.

“So what about this strange grey guy,
“Who’s been feeding us for years,
“Whatever it is he wants from us,
“It mustn’t end in tears,
“Let’s raise a feather without any fuss,
“Have a shot at how this appears.
“We really could eat somewhere else,
“Let’s vote with our squeaky cheers.”

This old man isn’t our birdlike savior,
Our visit here is just a favor,
Some days our swill it fits the bill and other times it lacks flavor.
We hear him droning with his poetry while we’re safe up in a tree,
So if there’s nothing odd to see,
Lets continue our noisy behaviour.

“There’s calmness here we sense it too,
When we see his daggy white hair,
Sometimes we sit on his wrinkly hand,
Or park upon his chair,
We lorikeets are all extroverts,
To eat quietly we cannot bear,
At a moment’s notice we’re ready to chew,
As long as he dodges if we schedule a poo,
Finesse isn’t our thing, everywhere is our loo,
When we line-dance together it is true blue,
Our nightmare would be ending up in somebody’s stew,
This is Ralphie signing off as we’re meant to do.”

About John
John started out as a cadet in 1970 at Bundaberg News Mail, continuing as a feature writer at Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, then began producing regular freelance articles for the Sunday Mail and New Idea. Later he took up science writing for Qld climate, water and soil scientists. Whimsical stories and humorous bush poetry is his current passion.

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