Tales from the Compost Heap; VISITORS REGAL

Tales from the Compost Heap;

male King Parrot framed



The Compost Heap here at the Sanctuary for Unpopular Species

was honoured this week by visiting Royalty

flying in to make an unannounced Regal Appearance.

Yes, the red carpet (well, an old bathmat actually) was rolled out,  and the finest bird seed

 sprinkled profusely in celebration

of the re-appearance of our favourite Royal Couple,

the wandering King Parrots that occasionally deign to drop in at the Sanctuary, apparently for no other reason

 than to visit the Budgies.

Dreamtime spirits, the noble King Parrot

Dreamtime spirits, the noble King Parrot

The magnificent, broad-tailed King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) is one of Australia’s largest parrots. A quiet, cautious bird that likes to keep to itself and is thus rarely seen, it is remarkable for the striking sexual diamorphism of it’s plummage. While the males wear a vivid, fluorescent red hood and vest,

the female is more subtly clothed

in rainforest-hued raiment of emerald green with patches of blue. Her colouring makes her almost invisible, especially when in flight.

She does, however, appear to wear a gaudy pair of gaily striped, fluorescent-orange pantaloons

 as a concession to fashion.

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I put the Budgerigars in their cage out on the back verandah each morning so they can participate in the ongoing Social Life of the local Avian population. Thus all day long they chat and chirrp with the passing flocks of their world cousins, lorikeets and parrots, and argue with the Noisy Minor birds and the Crows. Plus the continuing conversation with the budgie three doors down the road.

I don’t believe in putting birds in cages generally, but the Budgies are a bequest and if I let them out of the cage

 they’d be dead in ten minutes. The Butcher-Birds, or Crows or Minors would make short work

of this naive pair.

 So I care for them as best I can and put them out on the verandah where they can see the trees

and talk to the wild birds passing.

feed time

The Budgies get all excited when a passing flock of lorikeets zoom by like a noisy gang of teenagers,

 a dozen conversations all going on at once in a decibel explosion. The budgies catch the contagion like easily influenced teeny-boppers, they hop about

and flit from perch to perch, shooting out comments

and questions to the passing crew,

 What’s happening? Where are you going?!! they sqwawk and shrill.


But when the King Parrots come to visit, they are quiet,

almost as if they are in awe of their giant, silent relatives.

They make little chirruping & soft warbling sounds,

while the bigger bird sits next to the cage and tilts it’s head as though listening in sympathy.

The King Parrots seem amused by their tiny cousins, and

listen solemnly to their small voices. They remind me of adult humans listening to an excited three year old explaining their impractical dreams.

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Yes, there is something special when the King Parrots come to visit and the Budgerigars sense it also.

So silent and sentient, so noble and mysterious,

is this grave, solemn couple.

They manifest as an Archtypal presence emerging

on silent, emerald wings from the Bush,

like some Ancestor from the Dreamtime,

come to watch and to warn all those of their children

who walk the Good Earth now.

male king parrot w frame

Confident yet cautious they graciously accept my tribute

of grains and seeds, though they do not need it

and will not return tomorrow for more.

They do well to be cautious.

Unlike most of the creatures sheltering in the Sanctuary,

 the King Parrots’ problem is over-popularity.

There are white trash, red-neck, bottom-feeding “humans” who would happily stuff

 these magnificent creatures into a suitcase

or a bottle to make money and gratify some pudgy, overseas, too rich “Collector’s” whim.

If I had the chance I’d kill them all, smuggler and collector alike, (preferrably death by suffocation in a suitcase) and would never be troubled

by a moments remorse. I’m a nice person

unless I’m pushed on certain subjects.

Oh Life! Oh Earth! Oh Humanity!

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But I brush these unwelcome thoughts aside for now,

to enjoy the beauty and wonder

of this ephemeral moment.

As mysteriously as they appeared, they leave,

like a stage magicians final flourish.

A vivid flash of ruby and sapphire plummage

and they depart on emerald pinions,

a blurring in the breeze,

feathers merging into leaves.

Female invisible emerald flight

Click on photos to see in full size


the last gourmet


reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

Does the best he can,

with the Materials at Hand.



~ by reverendhellfire on October 4, 2015.

One Response to “Tales from the Compost Heap; VISITORS REGAL”

  1. Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:

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