morning song

the rooster is crowing
its 8.00am (7.00 without DST)*
a civilised hour to be awake
and to hear his morning song

the same call, almost one note
over and over and over
his voice occasionally breaking
while he paces slowly
behind the low wire fence

no-one answers
the hens are still dreaming
and here in the suburbs
he has no competition

food is set out, water poured
and the hens encouraged to wake
he settles beside them, quiet now
filling his feathered belly with scraps

birds sing in the nearby trees
some have calls that are just as limited and repetitive
some chirrup, some squeak
and some show off with their multi-note good mornings

blackbird and tui and sparrow and kereru
begin to fly between and over houses
swooping past the small enclosure
and into the surrounding trees

he jumps onto the railing
looks out over the garden
and in the morning sun
clipped wings stretch and flap

* DST = daylight saving time

© Claire Griffin 2016


In relation to the previous poem “black diving”:

For anyone who does not know – and there may be many of you outside New Zealand – a tui is a bird about the size of a pigeon. On the day of this poem, from a short distance, the tui I saw stood out black against the mist.

But their beautiful dark glossy plumage, shines in the right light with the colours of a paua shell, greens, blues, and purple. White tufts at the throat, and white wisps around the neck.

They live in the bush reserve near my house, swooping and diving among the trees. They call invisibly among the branches, warbling and squawking and trilling.

Some have learnt to imitate sounds they hear in their environment, and can make calls like phones ringing, or kettles whistling, and occasionally even people.

IMG_0980 copy© Claire Griffin 2016