On The Gum Tree On The Road Side

On the gum tree on the road side I can hear the unmelodious crow
Cawing in the gathering twilight his voice I have come to know
He doesn't seem worried by the weather though it has rained for most of the day
He is proclaiming his borders and Spring doesn't seem that far away.

Known as the Australian raven he is a stranger to fame
Wild life artists tend to ignore him and poets seldom mention him by name
Maybe because he lacks in beauty and maybe because he can't sing
He is one whose name is not mentioned amongst the feathered minstrels of Spring.

Hated by Aussie sheep farmers one good word of his kind they won't speak
They kill the frail newly born lambs and any mercy do not show to the weak
Yet these birds are the great survivors and in a hostile environment they thrive
And despite persecution by farmers the wily raven survive.

In a stick nest high on a tall tree three to six green eggs with freckles of brown
Ravens are birds of the paddocks and of the parks of the town,
Their great story of survival is a story to inspire
They may be lacking in beauty yet them one can't help but admire.

High on the gum on the road side as shades of night creep through the sky
The Aussie raven is cawing on this wet evening in July
He doesn't seem worried by the weather though it has rained for most of the day
He is proclaiming his borders and Spring is not that far away.

by Francis Duggan

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