Our race being latecomers
we could “discover” the Bunyip.
Original inhabitants had no need
to describe or define it before then.
Thus we are left with nineteenth century
imagination, false leads, folklore.
If she or he had actually met
one of us, would we have
still been alive to tell the tale?
Promoted as ferocious, yet sightings
were of benign things that disappeared
quickly. Like Yeti or Nessie, only a frisson
and ripples in billabongs were left to us,
a vague sense of something “other”
that fitted well with our love
for illustration, fiction.
Only now, with You Tube
and the possibility of images
going viral, do I regret the retirement
of Bunyip from the public realm of reality.
And yet, just as I am writing this poem
a great disturbance in my garden
reveals a magnificent hawk
never seen before here
and on its right claw
a small still brown bird
impaled by something fiercer
and hungrier than any social media.