Garbage Chooks

The following verse by Geoff Ryan appeared on the Birding-Aus email list on 3 June 2017 in response to multiple postings on the topic of "garbage chooks" - the birds that make it their business to hang around garbage landfills. The posts started with the query "How many species of dump chook are there in Australia?"


With scorn ye call us Garbage Chooks

A monicker fallacious

For if ye examine your abuse

Ye'll find it quite mendacious.

It is your ilk, the plaguing ape

Whose actions are obscene

Destroying fruit-filled forests

And grassy lands serene

Replacing all with ugliness

Your sterile roads and nests

Which suffocate all other life

With choking air and pests.

And by your selfish actions

From mountains to the sea

Our habitats consumed, destroyed

To boost your GDP.

We may be forced to eat your trash

Through circumstance or need

The excess of your selfishness

Extravagance and greed

Yet we maintain our dignity

Our beauty's not reduced

Not blighted by obesity

Nor scarred by drug abuse.

We come from ancient lineage

Thirty million years around

Our ancestors have enjoyed this world

With not one garbage mound

Whilst your ilk have left their scars

For a million years or less

New comers to this planet

You've created quite a mess.

So before you use derogatory

One fact we must attest

Its not your filthy garbage dumps

Where the Pelican builds its nest.

*Geoff Ryan *

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