In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence. Robert Lynd

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Maka’ala ke kanaka kahea manu.

A man who calls birds should always be alert.

The Hawaiian alii (chiefs) wore beautiful capes and headdresses crafted by weaving in thousands of tiny feathers. The Kanaka kahea manu, the  bird-catcher, would imitate bird-calls to attract the birds to catch them, pluck out a small number of tiny feathers and let them go. Once he had called the birds, he had to stay alert and be prepared to catch them quickly when they came near. The saying advises one who wishes to succeed to be alert to any opportunity that should arise.

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A D Hope, “The Death of a Bird”

For every bird there is this last migration;
Once more the cooling year kindles her heart;
With a warm passage to the summer station
Love pricks the course in lights across the chart.

Year after year a speck on the map divided
By a whole hemisphere, summons her to come;
Season after season, sure and safely guided,
Going away she is also coming home;

And being home, memory becomes a passion
With which she feeds her brood and straws her nest;
Aware of ghosts that haunt the heart’s possession
And exiled love mourning within the breast.

The sands are green with a mirage of valleys;
The palm-tree casts a shadow not its own;
Down the long architrave of temple or palace
Blows a cool air from moorland scraps of stone.

And day by day the whisper of love grows stronger,
That delicate voice, more urgent with despair,
Custom and fear constraining her no longer,
Drives her at last on the waste leagues of air.

A vanishing speck in those inane dominions,
Single and frail, uncertain of her place.
Alone in the bright host of her companions,
Lost in the blue unfriendliness of space.

She feels it close now, the appointed season:
The invisible thread is broken as she flies;
Suddenly, without warning, without reason,
The guiding spark of instinct winks and dies.

Try as she will the trackless world delivers
No way, the wilderness of light no sign,
The immense and complex map of hills and rivers
Mocks her small wisdom with its vast design.

And darkness rises from the eastern valleys,
And the winds buffet her with their hungry breath,
And the great earth, with neither grief nor malice,
Receives the tiny burden of her death.

– A. D. Hope (1907-2000)

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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 8 January 1949,

1 1 1 1 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW - 1842 - 1954), Saturday 8 January 1949,

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O ka makapo wale no ka mea hapapa i ka pouli.



Only the blind gropes in the darkness.

If you have no direction in life, you’ll get nowhere or another way to put it is, “If you’re going nowhere, you’re guarenteed to get there.”

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“I don’t think it had ever occurred to me that man’s supremacy is not primarily due to his brain, as most of the books would have one think. It is due to the brain’s capacity to make use of the information conveyed to it by a narrow band of visible light rays. His civilisation, all that he had achieved or might achieve, hung upon his ability to perceive that range of vibrations from red to violet. Without that, he was lost.”

― John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids

Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more. Agatha Christie

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1 1 1 1 The Times and Northern Advertiser, Peterborough, South Australia (SA - 1919 - 1950), Friday 27 May 1949,

My Last Dog My Last Poem. (1949, May 27).The Times and Northern Advertiser, Peterborough, South Australia

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Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 – 1954), Monday 21 September 1953

1 1 1 1 Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. - 1909 - 1954), Monday 21 September 1953

The Times and Northern Advertiser, Peterborough, South Australia (SA : 1919 – 1950), Friday 27 May 1949.

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Zen Koan : What is your face before your mother and father were born?

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The ‘gift’ of grief is that it presents us with the opportunity to heal and grow.

– Jewish Proverb

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Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was. 
– Hebrew Proverb

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“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

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Basho: Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.


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When the Children Come Home by Henry Lawson 

On a lonely selection far out in the West
An old woman works all the day without rest,
And she croons, as she toils ‘neath the sky’s glassy dome,
`Sure I’ll keep the ould place till the childer come home.’

She mends all the fences, she grubs, and she ploughs,
She drives the old horse and she milks all the cows,
And she sings to herself as she thatches the stack,
`Sure I’ll keep the ould place till the childer come back.’

It is five weary years since her old husband died;
And oft as he lay on his deathbed he sighed
`Sure one man can bring up ten children, he can,
An’ it’s strange that ten sons cannot keep one old man.’

Whenever the scowling old sundowners come,
And cunningly ask if the master’s at home,
`Be off,’ she replies, `with your blarney and cant,
Or I’ll call my son Andy; he’s workin’ beyant.’

‘Git out,’ she replies, though she trembles with fear,
For she lives all alone and no neighbours are near;
But she says to herself, when she’s like to despond,
That the boys are at work in the paddock beyond.

Ah, none of her children need follow the plough,
And some have grown rich in the city ere now; 
Yet she says: `They might come when the shearing is done,
And I’ll keep the ould place if it’s only for one.’

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Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1939 – 1949), Thursday 15 April 1948

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With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.


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Fear not, we are of the nature of the lion, and cannot descend to the destruction of mice and such small beasts.

Elizabeth I



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In making your escape, where is it you’re going to?

Do you plan to creep back in here where you emerged from?
Opening her robe to expose her virgina, a mother confronts her son who had fled from a battle.

The pipe marks the point at which the orangutan ends and man begins. Ben Jonson




“Once I saw a chimpanzee gaze at a particularly beautiful sunset for a full 15 minutes, watching the changing colours and then retire to the forest without picking a pawpaw for supper.”


― Adriaan Kortlandt

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The demon cried, waving its furry arms above his head like a demented orangutan.”

― Jana Oliver, Forsaken



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Man of the Forest

By Amy Harris
Aged 12

Wild and free, catapulting from branch to branch
Fury and adorable just like a hairy human baby
Tucked away in the muscular arms of its parents
Kept away, safe and sound from the predators that trespass their tangled terrain.

Far in the distance a noise echoes through the leafy, plain and plaited planks, billions of age
Metal machines and enormous engines roar through the depths of the Borneo jungle
Devastating deforestation and animal cruelty are the least worries on the loggers mind.

Tick by the clock and chop goes the tree Crashed and trashed to then plant palm trees
A dollar a dead as this land is cleared and then reuse to plant the palm tree
The orange palm seed is then crushed and mashed into an oil only to be used for facial boils
Chocolates, cheeses and crackers this oil is made into
It is all a big secret, which only pleases the greedy smiles, who own those millions.

As this peaceful family hide away in their tree
A hunter snaps a twig and alarms the mother of its young
But before she can blink a bullet as fast as lightning is released into the humid air of the jungle
As she inhales her last gulp of air, it has hit her rough skin
Then she leaves this terrifying world to sleep in her anger and rage.

Leaving the young an orphan, helpless and hopeless in the big wide world
As he clutches his mother, he is pulled and thrown into the cold box of bars he could now call home
Like a dungeon of deep darkness and death.

All he hopes, as it looks into the red eyes of its mother’s killer, is that one day his race will be saved
by someone loving and kind. Will that be you he asks?

Extinction is forever.

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