Tui

Blue and green iridescence
shimmer off the tui’s dark
feathers in the morning sun
the little love knot of curling,
white feathers at his throat
completes his sartorial elegance
a simple fashion statement
for the autocratic parson bird.

From the kowhai tree’s summit
ablaze with golden flowers
his raucous shrieks warn
lowly blackbirds and thrushes
to vacate his territory.
His swooping attacks spur
them to flee – his sharp
nectar sucking beak pecks
vicious wounds in birds
unwise enough to stay.

One little tui he allows to
remain. Her feathers too have
the shimmering iridescence,  the
little white love knot at her
throat. Now the regal tui
sings to her a love song of
purest warbling notes, clear  high
trilling in a liquid flow that
fills the suburban garden. She
flits through the branches of
his tree, enjoying golden kowhai
nectar under his protective eye
in the glowing morning sunlight.

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Tui

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