After the heat, we open the heavy glass door,
and listen to the stereophonic evening:
spectral traffic; a barking dog; insect drone.
One insect, whirring like a windup paper toy,
has been caught be some larger creature.
The insect clicks loudly, like an ancient sprinkler,
until it makes no noise at all.
Meanwhile the bats in the ironbark tree
are taking to the sky. Their breathtaking wings
have an extensive repertoire of sounds:
a fire igniting; wind-in-the-grass; the beating
of drums; and bats in a horror movie.
And now the rain has started up, half-heartedly,
as if we were in some other country,
Japan or Korea, perhaps. And our neighbours,
our human neighbours, are—as ever—oddly silent.
David McCooey is a prize-winning poet. His latest book of poems is Star Struck (UWA Publishing, 2016). His poetry appeared in ten of the last eleven editions of The Best Australian Poems series. He is also a sound artist. His latest album (in collaboration with Paul Hetherington), The Apartment, was released in 2018.