Currawongs rock

By Fletch Blunden

Dedicated to Lovely Linda, meter maid

Bobtail Curra hears a call.
It’s Bigfoot Curra, he’s loud and tall.
It’s such a booming curra-tone
(or what we call a baritone).

Bobtail’s swept off her perch.
She’s shaken, and lands with a lurch.

She curra-thinks in curra-song:

I’ve got to meet this currawong.
Just can’t believe his curra-song.

She curra-sings the thing
she always loves to sing:


It’s one of her favourites from years ago—
distinctly Melburnian rock and roll:

 “Daddy Cool, Daddy Cool.
Cool daddy cool.
Daddy Cool, Daddy Cool.
Cool daddy cool.”

She’s about to burst
into the second verse.

Her branch goes jump,
from Bigfoot’s thump.

Bobtail gets a bit of a fright.
She curra-thinks:

He’s quite a sight.

Wow, he is a big one.
Sure explains the curra-tone.

Bigfoot’s voice is deep and strong.
He intro’s himself in curra-song:


 “Hi. They all call me Bigfoot.
Rock and roll, what a hoot.”

Bobtail again goes weak at the knees.
She’s having a day of falling out of trees.

She lets out a short song
that’s haughty and strong:

 Ka wing. ”

 “It’s Bobtail. Hi.
Let’s sing on the fly.”

She plummets between the trees
still shaking at the knees.
She banks and wheels away
The pair sing away the day.

It’s rock and roll, they sing;
around and around, on the wing.

Bigfoot curra-thinks in curra-song:  

I’ll just nod my head
and stamp my feet,
That way Bobtail
can keep the beat.

They rock on
in full song.

They command respect.
The coolest duet.

The years go by and by.
They still sing on the fly.

Through highs and lows of disillusion.
They weathered Hip Hop, Disco and Blues Fusion.
Hippies, punks and homies come and go.
But, it’s the Goths that worry Bigfoot so.

He curra-thinks in curra-song:

Why would you dye your feathers black?
Does it suggest there’s something you lack?

Maybe, you’re just ordinary.
That wouldn’t be extraordinary.

Bigfoot now has a sad song to tell.
So he adlibs Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel.



 “Since the rains don’t come,
Can’t find a new place to dwell.
Gotta get away from this heat
It’s the . . . valley of hell!

 There’s always the city. Let’s give it a try.”

Esoteric questions are not Bobtail’s strength.
You may know her answer, Bigfoot’s heard it at length.

 Curra – Wong.
 Kurra . . .  Wong?”

Bigfoot wasn’t wrong,
a Beatles love song.

 “Love, love me do.
You know I love you.
I’ll always be true.
But what. . . can we do?”

Bigfoot’s disappointed with what she sings.
Just like shallow ditties of McCartney and Wings.

He curra-thinks in curra-song:

The most melodious thing,
especially, on the wing.

But, it’s the song she’ll always sing,
when she doesn’t know a thing.

 She’s so Curra-Wong,
 it’s barely a song.

Bigfoot wants to discuss their survival.
He borrows Credence Clearwater Revival.

“Goin’ up the city.
Got ta get away.

Goin’ up the city.
Where I’m goin’ ta stay.”

He gets a doubting, single “Pu qua?”
The discussion hasn’t got too far.
It comes out so sharp and shrill.
The lingering silence he cannot fill.

Bigfoot curra-thinks in curra-song:

If we don’t go, we die.
But how can she ask ‘but why’?
Can’t do it in rhymes
 til you do it two times.

 Something poignant I need to relate.
 Something downbeat like Tom Waites.
 The one about the prostitute,
 with our problem the substitute.

He curra-sings to himself:

“Ah, she won’t let yah kiss her.
Well, what do yah expect?”

 Or something Frank Zappa could write.
 His “I am the Slime” sounds right.
 His acidic views on popular culture
 with our problem a caricature.

 “Well, I am the slime from your video.
Oozin’ along on your livin’ room floor.
I am the slime from your video.
Can’t stop the slime. Take a look at me go.”

 It needs to sound full on.
 Midnight Oil could turn it on.
 I want ‘Diesel & Dust’.
‘Burning Beds’ is a must.

 “The time has come,
To say fair’s fair.
To pay the rent.
To pay our share.”

I’ll call it ‘Nothing . . . nothing at all.’ 
Come on Bobtail, it’s your call.

Not a shallow Beatles platitude,
I need to know your attitude.

He skirts the river looking down.
He breaks into curra-song as he wheels aroun’:

“Dead river redgums
litter the shore.
The salt lakes grow,
they consume. . . more and more.
We’ve gotta go.
We’ve gotta go now.
Our river’s dying . . .
it’s an open sore.”

Bobtail curra-thinks it through
before she decides what to do:

 It’s just a drought.
 It’ll all sort out.

 He’s so Qu-Eee?
 He loses me.

She banks and wings,
then curra-sings:

“The city’s alien,  avoid that place.
It’s so innately wrong,
can’t nest . . . in that space.
Don’t wanna go.
Don’t wanna go there.
Only fit for . . .
the human rat-race.”

Bigfoot pursues his curra-theme
as he arcs upstream:

Our valley’s dry,
No longer blessed
The environment declines,
it’s terminally . . . stressed.
We’ve gotta go.
We’ve gotta go now.
Just one spark. . . .
you know the rest.”

Bobtail surveys a depressing scene,
and curra-thinks:  

T’was once serene.
He may be right.

It doesn’t look bright.
But, the city?
It’ll never be pretty.

His curra-song
is way too black.
It’s not terminal.
It’ll all come back.

Bobtail persists
as she rises and lists:

“Their ornamental lakes,
prismatic and blue.
They’re completely sterile,
way too blue . . . to be true.
Don’t wanna go.
Don’t wanna go there.
Go somewhere else. . . .
anywhere will do.”

Bigfoot arcs and wheels around.
He curra-thinks:

Doubts abound.

This is some intense curra-song.
She has a point, but I’m not wrong.

Bigfoot is denied by the light,
Bobtail’s gone from sight.

 “You have a point.
Don’t wanna fight.
But there’s nothing else
that’s gonna . . . be right.
We’ve gotta go.
We’ve gotta go now.
There’s food in that . . .
urban blight.”


 Where’s Bobtail’s reply?
 I’ll give it one last try.

 “Something’s gone wrong,
that’s ruined it all.
We’re just the victims,
it’s a mountain . . . too tall.
We’ve gotta go.
We’ve gotta go now.
It’s that, or it’s nothing. . .
nothing at all.”


He calls:

“Kquar Kqu-woo?”


He calls again:

“Kquar Kqu-woo?”