Swan River 2

Noongar fishing hunting
talking camping lighting fires.
Europe in boats
looking naming assessing
watching five hundred black swans
rising stirring wings
settling townships
bludgeoning black swans
while breeding and moulting
dumping refuse and sewage
into shallows
setting the brewery by the river
for water and transport
and dumping waste
reshaping the river
against flooding
for boat access
and more dry land
for cropping and building
removing the mouth’s rocky bar
making the harbour
the estuary more salty
building retaining walls
reducing shallow habitat
pouring scum and ooze
from the power station
reclaiming more land
for the freeway and interchange
ongoing community action
cleaning and conservation
retaining some pockets of original vegetation
fringing forest, salt marshes and rushes
banning bird shooting
establishing swanneries
restoring the icon
all waterbirds are now remaining
if reduced in number
three habitats for wading birds
Milyu
Point Waylen at Alfred Cove
and Pelican Point.

Copyright Sandra Roe

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