Birds That Haunt Me – Ashley Williams

George Lane Mandarin Duck

My uncle’s mandarin duck lost its single ovary,
shed the bland brown plumes of subdued femininity and

donned a masculine orange, white and emerald sail.


He said I am like this duck. Or like a maned lioness,

with my deep throaty voice and my broad puffed-out chest.

He says I need my hormones fixed; and so I tell him he’s the quack.



Lygon Street Lark

My gleeful cheers
For the lovely lark I imagined was
Just hovering in ‘hello’
Near my girlfriend’s shoulder
‘Like in Snow White, oh look!’

With a smile and a song
I sang the soundtrack
To its abrupt beak piercing
The white of her eye,
Her ‘sclera’

The sclera structures the eye
helps it

keeP sh
We learned, when hers
rE … whA t

A laR k.


Queen’s Road Quaker Monk Parrot

‘Beep, beep beeeeeeep’
‘It’s time darling’
‘It’s time, get up’

‘Must you tweet this early?’

‘Twitter isn’t life.’

‘There’s no secrets online’.

‘Cup of tea?’
‘Cup of tea?’
‘Cup of tea?’
‘Ooh yes my darling!’

‘Tell me your secret!’
‘You’ll tell the bird!’
‘You’ll tell the bird!’
‘The bird tells everyone!’

‘Stop your henpeckin’’

‘Cup of tea?’
‘Cup of tea?’
‘Cup of tea?’
‘Ooh yes my darling!’

‘You tweet better than Trump’
‘Chirping away’
‘Stop your henpeckin’’
‘Chirping away’
‘A couple of old birds’



Ashley Williams lives in Adelaide with their girlfriend and enjoys poetry, any-coloured wine and creepy looking cheeses. Ashley has written experimentally for a few years and was inspired by past Bent Street poets to contribute some of their work.