Unbounded Air: A collection about birds and their world
This collection of poems aims to introduce the reader to the richness of birds and the need to care for their world. The poems bring to life their beauty, their song and the intriguing and sometimes funny behaviours as well as their remarkable skills, especially in nest building.
The poems are presented in a loose semblance of order beginning with the signifier poem, “Unbounded Air,” followed by the shorebird poems noting the urgent need to address their threatened habitat. This environmental theme continues in many of the poems.
When we are more attentive, we see birds in all environments. Travel gives opportunities for fresh discoveries, particularly in Australia’s distinctly different environments. A number of poems reflect this happenstance. Yet, it is at home in our gardens, nearby parks and waterways where we really see birds up close. Many of the later poems represent the richness and diversity that surrounds us if we take time in our own patch. The final poem, “A Murmuration of Birds,” focuses on the awe and wonder of seeing huge numbers of birds in the magic of synchronised flight.
A close connection with birds can be transformative. The same occurs when we allow ourselves to be emerged in poetry, to take the time, to read closely and allow our thoughts to move to a new knowing.
|ISBN 9781922332578 (PB, 84pp);
140mm x 216mm
|AUD $26||USD $18||NZD $28||GBP £12||EUR €14|
|ISBN 9781922332585 (eBook)||AUD $13||USD $9||NZD $15||GBP £6||EUR €7|
Surrounded daily by birds, a poet sits down to write. The effect of these poems is as calming, joyful and uplift ing as it is when we watch birds ourselves. Rainforest birds are particularly beautiful and these poems about them, and other birds, are also. Whether you mean to or not, when you write, you reveal yourself and here the nature poet reveals herself as Mary Oliver and Gerard Manly Hopkins and all those other poets of their ilk do too; which is why we treasure them.
– Kate Llewellyn, award-winning Australian poet
Unbounded Air gives a fascinating insight into the secret lives of wild birds. Fitzgerald introduces us to the dear familiar birds who visit her mountain garden, and to shore birds, eagles, robins, currawongs and other winged creatures she has encountered in the parks, waterways and in her travels. h ese beautiful, funny, sad poems will soar into your imagination and stay there forever.
– Sandra Hogan, author of With My Little Eye
These beautiful poems wash with colour, beat like wings, soar with song. For Fitzgerald, nature is a language, and noticing a sixth sense.
– Kristina Olsson, author of Boy Lost: a Family Memoir
Beverley Fitzgerald has been a writer from an early age. A childhood spent in rural South East Queensland fostered a lifelong interest in Nature with birds being a particular fascination.
During a long professional Social Work career, Beverley continued her writing alongside the many other tasks of life. Her poems have been published in Hecate and short stories in collections and magazines as well as online. Contemporary circumstances have given more time to review her extensive collection of poems.
This selection epitomises Bev’s love of birds and the richness they have brought to her life. At the same time, this selection reminds us of the environmental and climatic issues now threatening many essential habitats as well as the extinction of those precious species which rely on them. Yet, the works aim for more than this. They seek to highlight the joy and comfort birds can bring to each of us. Knowing birds helps us to hold onto hopefulness. They show us there is a natural order of how we are meant to live and offer a calm, healing refl ection when we choose to observe the Unbounded Air of birds.
Watch highlights from the Mt. Glorious launch
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The first time I saw a wedge-tailed eagle
I was young. My Dad, who shot any raptor
that threatened his chickens,
had pulled in for petrol and ice-cream.
The shop was a ramshackle
sell-everything country store.
Hey, he said, as he pumped fuel,
have a look at these wedgies.
There were two – in a home-made cage
of reinforced steel
you might use for concreting.
Fierce, dark brown eyes blazing.
Shoulders big and strong like knobs of rock
to power the great wings
that lay folded and cramped
in a pose of misuse and misery.
The feathers on their muscled legs,
once soft as down,
now stuck with muck
grubby and tattered.
Amazed at their black talons
huge like no thorn I had ever seen.
Long, strong, hooked around the wood.
It was then I saw
the two thin leather straps
tethering them to their prison perch
Why are they tied up, Dad?
Training, maybe. I asked, for what?
Today, on this crystalline Autumn day
my daughter and her daughters
and I lie on the grassy hillside, chatting –
a neighbour calls
12 o’clock: Wedgies!
Two wedge-tailed eagles
drift and soar
swooning the sky
their wide wings finger-feathered
spread like side fans.
Lifted by invisible thermals,
they draw circles in the blue,
spiraling, gliding on the warm air
weathering without effort
the fluctuations and turbulence.
We watch, and keep watching
mesmerized until our necks ache,
our eyes water; we marvel
at their majesty, their freedom,
their ownership of all they survey.
As the blue light softens
they slip north over the forest.
No tethers, no guns –
two monarchs of Nature’s realm
in charge of their unbounded air.