Skin Deep (poem)

A Repost of my poem Skin Deep in honour of the two new Gouldian chicks that recently started to fly.


Skin Deep

God took a prized jewel
the precious gouldian finch
polishing the paint
a sparrow was left
the crowd

My poem ‘Skin Deep’ was recorded for the ABC Radio National ‘Birdlands’ project in 2011  (produced by Gretchen Miller). You can listen to the very short recording here:

SKIN DEEP Gabrielle Brydenmp3



‘not looking back to wave': A Book Review (Poetry)

‘not looking back to wave’ by Karen Price


We’ve all been waiting a long time for the release of Australian blogger beeblu’s debut poetry collection and now that time has arrived.

Don’t tell anyone but we now know that beeblu has another name – Karen Price! I told her not to disclose her real name but did she listen? There’s even a lovely photo of her in the book – the cloak of invisibility has forever been thrown into the laundry basket.

Anyway, they’ll soon forget ;)

Those who follow beeblu’s blog (those discerning readers) will be familiar with many of the poems in her collection. I love it when poetry bloggers collate their poems into a book – blog’s can disappear but a printed book can sit snugly in one of my bookshelves without fear of banishment.

Beeblu’s collection is very beeblu! The cover is black with white lower case letters floating towards the roof – the light sits hesitantly as if it shouldn’t exist in all that darkness (a visualisation of mindfulness therapy comes to my mind).

Beeblu is a traveller, linguist, and philosophical/scientific thinker and this is reflected in her poetry which deals with life and death, the universe, existential angst, beauty and horror, love and hatred. Some poems will have you reaching for the whiskey to drown out the despair but others will have you laughing out loud. They may have an autobiographical bent but if you are human you will relate to these vignettes.

Here is one of my favourite poems from the collection:


Sultry African nights

we’d drink Dutch
play Chinese
smoke American
talk Japanese
(the odd bit of French thrown in)

Brightly hungover days
we’d work
with throwback English stoicism


Congratulations beeblu on a wonderful first collection. You can pop over here to purchase the printed or ebook version.

ps. It should also be noted that the splendiferous Linda Cosgriff of The Laughing Housewife infamy provided the editorial expertise.


What happened to the Gouldian Finches?

It has been a long time since I posted about our Gouldian Finches. You may remember the aviary we had when we lived near the beach.


After we moved we kept the finches inside in cages for a few months. Finally Handy Andy constructed another Taj Mahal of finch aviaries at our new place – bigger and better, a little birdie told me ;)

The frame is a recycled shade house that a good neighbour gave to us. The floor is sheeted off with weed plastic, a layer of aviary wire, and then covered with a thick layer of washed rocks. The entire frame is covered in fine aviary wire and aluminium sheets. The whole thing is completely vermin and snake proof #FingersCrossed

Here ’tis:


Not the best photo, but it is larger and has a built in water feature – a small fountain type thing with a filter and constantly flowing water, so we don’t have to change water bowls every day.


I will get some better photos when I get my access pass into the actual aviary ;)

The weather is warming up here in Spring in Queensland, Australia and that means the chicks are being hatched and starting to fly. Here are two fledglings, brand newish to the world.

fledglings oct 2014

May many more chicks be hatched! :D

Tweet, Tweet


The Magpie (3 Haiku)

Warbling magpie
sings with changing notes in spring,
chicks are growing fast
The magpie quavers
and trills in the warm spring sun,
the flowing stream
Swooping magpie
protects her young in spring,
cyclists duck and weave