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Part 1:

This poem was inspired by the uplifting birdsong outside the home of Wayne and Ann Williams in Box Hill South, a suburb of Melbourne, and in Wattle Park in Victoria Australia. My Tasmanian wife of 25 years, now in her late middle-age, and I stayed with the Williams', a New Zealand couple, and their two teen-age children for six days in August 1999 on our way from Perth Western Australia to Launceston Tasmania.

I was taking an early retirement, a sea-change as it is sometimes called, at the age of 55 after 50 years as a student and teacher: 1949 to 1999. The evolution of the bird and its song, and of the embryonic planetary civilization I had been living in since the end of WW2--seemed to me to possess interesting comparisons and contrasts. This idea, this use of analogical method, came, as Emerson put it, “unlooked for like a bird in the trees.”-Ron Price with appreciation to Ralph Waldo Emerson in Ross Posnock’s book of literary criticism entitled: The Trial of Curiosity: Henry James, William James and the Challenge of Modernity, Oxford University Press, 1991, p.158.

Part 2:

How long did evolution’s process take
to produce this wondrous birdsong?
A million or a billion years?
How long will it take humanity
to sing this new song in this day?
However long and tortured
the process appears,
the timetable could be called
God’s Plan.

That sea-gull flying gracefully
through the air, those birds
with their cacophony of sound,
tell of the beginning of another flying,
another song, another season,
finding its beginning with Adam,
watered by the blood of martyrs,
the sweet-scented streams of eternity
and the fruits of the tree of a Being
bright with promise as I head into
a future, a time in my life, also bright
with promise after years of what is often
called having one’s nose to the grindstone.

Ron Price
2/8/'99 to 27/5/'14.

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