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I wrote the poem about a Galah while driving from Armidale to Alice Springs (over 3000km). Galahs are pink and grey cockatoos. During the wheat harvest they spend a lot time on the road eating the spilt grain.


I was a little pink Galah
Just sitting on the highway tar.
Just sitting, eating on the road
Wheat that spilt from someone's load.
Fighting for the finest seed
Disgusted with my partner's greed,
Then flying high to miss the cars
Which often flatten slow galahs.
Then landing on the road once more,
To get the wheat we'd missed before.

Just then I found a lovely grain
It made the other wheat look plain
It was big and rounded but
It had fallen in a rut.
My friends were squawking, "There's a car,
Get off the road ya mad galah!"
I didn't fly I'd just about
Got that delicious seed dug out.
My fiends were making quite a fuss
Squawking that "the car's a bus!"

I got the seed an' flew but splat
And now I'm feeling rather flat,
A very sore and sorry bird.
The driver hadn't even heard
And here I am stuck on the grill
Feeling quite a dopey dill,
But not everyone can poach
A ride upon a tourist coach
And as I drive about today
I see the world a different way.

Life's not only piles of grain
Sprinkled there like golden rain.
There's other things along the road,
A dead wombat and flattened toad,
And there's a mangled kangaroo
A victim of the highway too,
A blue tongue lizard thought it great
To lie and thermoregulate
In the middle of the road
But he's squashed there like the toad.

The wombat with his tiny stride
Ran but found the road too wide,
The roo had some grass to munch,
Saw the lights and hopped then crunch.
Now eating them are hawks and crows,
There's never any dead of those
And up here on the grill with me
There's moths, grasshoppers and a bee,
A butterfly, a dragon fly,
The highway caused them all to die.

So all of you who use the road,
Drive a car or spill a load,
Or fly towards bright headlights
Or hop across the road at nights
Or lie there baking in the sun
Or run across the road for fun
Or eat the grass along the side
Just think of all of us who've died.

© David McK. Berman 1984

Made on an iPad
Blue the dog
A galah