© Don Adams

Winner, 2011 ‘Coo-ee March Festival – Outback Section’ Gilgandra, NSW.

The night recedes but slowly for
       it lingers on its way
among the gum-lined river bends.
From where a cackling chorus blends
       with dawn to greet the day.

The kookaburras’ chortles tell
       the world, ‘Look!  We’re awake!’
Their hearty chuckles bounce around
the river with a gleeful sound
       that they alone can make.

The creatures of the dark have ceased
       to fly or creep or crawl.
The bats are in old hollow trunks,
while possums find their tree top bunks,
       and mo-pokes mute their call.

 A mob of black ducks splash aloft
       and quark to cruising height.
With necks thrust forward, arrow straight,
their wings whirr, ‘Hurry.  We are late!’
       And whisk them out of sight.

The creatures of the light emerge
       to face the coming day.
The ones who hunt, who swoop or creep,
and those who flee or burrow deep.
       Both predators and prey.

The dawn is smiling brighter now
       and songbirds start to sing.
The treetops blush with pinks and reds
as roseate the warm light spreads
       and day is on the wing.

So often, when a lad, I walked
       throughout the river’s bends.
I loved it there, and I have sworn
once more to see a Bidgee dawn,
       before my journey ends.

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