Tales from the Compost Heap; MIDNIGHT COMMOTIONS


Introduction; This Year Zero

Welcome back, dear Followers & Friends, to

 Sunday Sermons for 2016

but before I commence today’s Sermon proper, a short announcement that the Reverend intends to devote more of his energies this year speaking out on “Environmental Issues” and no doubt this will be reflected in the content on this page.

The Reverend believes we stand on the edge of a precipice

of World-wide Total Environmental Collapse

and all we need to do to get there is what we’re doing now.

Overcoming his native pessimism the Reverend avows,

“It’s This Year Zero time, kiddies. We must each do what we can

to save something from Today’s greed

to preserve for a better Future.”


Raven in egg

Tales from the Compost Heap; MIDNIGHT COMMOTIONS


The peaceful repose of the Compost Heap was disturbed

the other night, some time around Midnight,

by the most god-awful commotion

coming from the big “Ghost Gum” tree out the front.

Upon investigating it soon became clear that, despite usually being a daytime bird, a stray Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

had migrated at Midnight from where-ever it had previously

been perched, and had decided that the afore-mentioned Gum Tree would make a suitable emergency shelter

for the night.


Alas, the tree in question is the local “Crow Tree”.

Yes, the neighbourhood Torresian Crows colonised it long ago and have ever since determined

 on maintaining it as their exclusive domain.

There’s usually a couple of nesting couples and their young in residence, and at first I thought it might have been

 a predatory Owl conducting a raid on the nests.

But it was just a case of “walking through the wrong door” and judging from the indignant cacophony raised that night it sounded as though the unfortunate, night-blind Cockatoo had landed right in the middle of the Nursery.

"Oh god what a night!"

“Oh god what a night!”

Talk about screaming “bloody blue Murder”! Sulphur crested Cockatoos have a voice that sounds like screeching corrugated iron at the best of times, but this hellish sound! The intruding bird did indeed scream like it was being brutally murdered, as the angry parents CRARRKed and flapped furiously and the foliage swayed, bits of stick and nest falling down all the while, whilst

every crow and dog in the neighbourhood

voiced their own opinion.

As soon as it could the flustered Cockatoo made an escape,

erupting out of the foliage like a rocket. Unfortunately,

night-blind and panicky, he made a giant soaring loop

and ended up landing in the same tree!

Chaos quickly resumes. The bird makes another escape, looking quite bedraggled by now, and manages to find Sanctuary in the tall Gum Tree down the back, the traditional home to the local Bush Turkey tribe. They just kept their heads down and said nothing.

The same could not be said for the crows. Upset and annoyed by the whole “unpleasant incident” they continued complaining about it for hours. They were unhappy and wanted everyone to know.

The crows don't really approve of anyone using their tree

The crows don’t really approve of anyone using their tree

Sometime before dawn the neighbourhood finally quietened down and everyone went to sleep.

The next day, the broken branches and leaves scattered on the road beneath the nests (the litter and detritus of war) told the story of the night’s epic battle.

Crow babies are ALWAYS hungry.

Crow babies are ALWAYS hungry.

Two nights later, sometime before dawn, in the last dark quarter of the night, when there is no Moon and the Sun has yet to hint of it’s possible return, a mass migration of parrots occurs.

Restless in the humid night, the Reverend hears a distant pandemonium in the distance getting rapidly louder.

Seconds later a dark, chattering cloud is racing across the sky above. It’s a huge flock, much bigger than the daytime flocks you

generally see. Or does it just seem bigger because it’s night-time and it’s so strange to this this day-time party bird moving like this after Sunset?

It’s not like they’re just hopping from one tree to another, it’s like they’ve got somewhere in mind they want to be. As quickly as the swarm appeared it vanished, the mad chattering of parrots fading away in the stillness of the night.

budgie swarm

What means these mad Midnight migrations and commotions

at the Summer Solstice, as the year turns in its wheel

around the Sun?

What do they betoken, oh Reader ? These dark flights of day-time Avian species? Has some bastard been secretly cutting down nesting trees at night in the name of sly and inevitable Progress? (More trees than usual that is) Is the Natural Order overturned?

Or are there just too many city lights,

disrupting Avian sleep patterns?

artist Marc Hempel colourist: Daniel Vozzo from "The Kindly Ones" p5

One of the Reverend’s Sacred Duties is of course to interpret the Auguries. That is, to study the movements of birds and beasts

and interpret their symbolic meaning, divine them as messages from the Spirit World and deliver them to their community. The Art of Augury was much esteemed in the Ancient World, and naturally every self-respecting Shaman practised its disciplines constantly,

seeking to understand the Great Patterns.

The Reverend Hellfire has therefore consulted both the Tibetan and the Roman systems of Augury and presents the following interpretation of these Midnight Migrations;


“WE have been sleeping. We are about to be woken. No-one will be able to hide safely in their home and pretend

that the momentous movements & events that are occurring

in the World today will not affect them.”


Scoffers should consider the cautionary tale of the Roman Admiral, Claudius Pulcher, who once disregarded the advice of the Auguries before a battle with the Carthaginians. When the Sacred Chickens refused to eat (a bad sign) he threw them into the sea declaring, “Then let them drink!”

Claudius then went on to lose the battle and most of the Roman fleet. The Claudii were like that. Years later his sister declared when caught in a traffic jam in Rome, “I wish my brother were still alive! He could lose another fleet for me and thin out this crowd of plebs!”


Happy New Year folks, and keep watching the skies..

First Strike


reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is..

back at work!



~ by reverendhellfire on January 3, 2016.

7 Responses to “Tales from the Compost Heap; MIDNIGHT COMMOTIONS”

  1. love the stories

  2. I too have been talking to little birdies.

    Happy New Year Guy.

    Check out the birds in my garden at http://www.djstandover.com/photos-by-qpapayandi/


    • Thnx! Like the nature photos on yr site.

      • Hey Guy!Great poem unfortunate subject hope things smooth out,Look forward to more Sunday sermons and maybe catching up at Kurilpa poets reading. Are they on the last Sunday of the month still? Love your website and Squarey cheers Nigel

      • Thanks mate. Hopefully karma will take care of the tree haters. Failing that my curse should start kicking in sometime soon. Kidding of course. (coughs)
        Be that as it may, The Kurilpa Poets are still going strong and will be back at the CROQUET CLUB ON Sunday,February 28th with the fabulous Kurilpa Cup and much more besides..

      • Thank you Reverend for the Kurilpa Poets dates

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: