Published 22 October 202120 November 2021 · Friday Features / Friday Poetry Poetry | While we were on Twitter Johanna Bell A kingfisher swallowed a cane toad near Kakadu | A woman in south-east QLD saw rainbow lorikeets fall from the sky | A flock of brolga fished for frogs in an algal bloom | Outside Cairns, a bush-stone curlew bounced off the bonnet of a speeding ute | Near Broome, a grey nomad pulled a blue-faced finch from the radiator of his 4WD | A satin bowerbird choked on a plastic bottle cap | A wandering albatross regurgitated a squid jig | A woman in Parkes discovered a pile of dead galahs Two red balloons were extracted from the swollen belly of a grey-headed albatross | A marine biologist found a barn owl, face in the sand, next to a half-eaten rat | Not far from Adelaide, an Australian gannet drowned in a fishing net | A magpie strutted back and forth on the bitumen beside his flattened mate Flocks of bar-tailed godwit landed in a car park that used to be an estuary | The gang-gang cockatoo, emblem of the ACT, did not return after the bushfires | A boy in Wollongong wrote to Bun- nings “We found a dead sooty owl in our back- yard which has been killed by your stupid rat poison” Bun nin gs d i d n o t r e p l y Author note: This poem is composed from information found in Australian newspaper articles and research papers. It was inspired by a Sydney Morning Herald article titled ‘Off-the-shelf rat poisons killing owls too – and Bunnings asked to act.’ In the article, journalist Miki Perkins, cites BirdLife Australia-commissioned research that found 97% of dead powerful owls in the Sydney region (n=38) had second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in their livers and 60% had levels high enough to cause impairment. These poisons have been restricted from general sale in the US, Canada and the European Union but can be bought in supermarkets and hardware stores across Australia. According to BirdLife Australia, there are about 25 rat poisons available at Bunnings stores, and all but two are second-generation anticoagulant poisons. Overland’s Friday Features project is supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. Johanna Bell Johanna Bell lives in Darwin where she writes and works as an independent audio producer. Her written work has been published by Allen & Unwin, Scholastic, Overland, Meanjin, Griffith Review, Black Inc and Australian PoetryBirds Eye View, co-created with women in Darwin Prison, won a New York Radio Award, Australian Podcast of the Year and a Walkley Award nomination. Currently, Johanna is working on a verse novel about vanishing birds. More by Johanna Bell › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 24 November 202324 November 2023 · Friday Poetry Poem with vertical viewfinder Shari Kocher If in future an image of mine— of course, I have made the if-ness of your looking a multiple Ferris wheel turned to trolley car trundling down the street. Damn, I will show you something all right here, inside the daily or what you call private. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 September 202326 September 2023 · Friday Features Activating the poetic spirit as friendship John Kinsella I’ve always had the aching feeling that—as a text to be shared among friends and maybe eventually ‘enemies’—the soul-body dialogue poem is a way of arguing towards spiritual certainty in the face of earthly corruption and doubt.