In the British Museum, its grass-green head
dreams under polished glass
of a long wing-hammering flight south

down through the mosquito net latitudes,
the dark, banana-flanked islands
hunkered in blue archipelagos,

the dots of monsoon shacks below
on fleeting beaches, the cane plantations
streaming wires of smoke,

dropping down, down, further south
to its home country, the grim
scrim of marram and marsh rosemary

marking the boundary of what it knows,
where the turpentine stink
of eucalypts closes in like prison air,

the flat grey unending scribbly-gums
menace their silver knives
and the scrawny catstails of the casuarinas

whip and whip a white uncharted sky.
Its emissary heart wheels out,
sprout-green, staghorn-green,

looking for a familiar tzeet, tzeet
in the chipped dialect of corellas,
the chitter of greenfinches,

the cockatoos’ and blue-wings’ squall,
and, finding nothing but
the roar of parrot talk at dusk

rising hot in its ears, the sour honey
of currants in its throat, it would float
into the leaves like a ghost, green on green,

and from its black coral beak
let its voice inch out on a branch,
a quick orange flare in the thicket.