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An Ode to the Welcome Swallows

An Ode to the Welcome Swallows

(Composed under the big oak at Montpellier Garden near my home at Cookson Way Burwood, Vic AU in spring 2022)

By Julia Min

Underneath the blooming crab-apples,

underneath the golden pagoda trees,

they flutter around me near the big oak,

a canopy over a hundred years of growth.

From left to right they dash in low circles,

just like the keenest surveyors of this oval.

Looking closer: they’re such teeny angels,

with the back dark blue, wings dark grey,

reflecting sunbeams as they wing sideways.

Their bellies play fluffy waves in the wind,

and tails are mottled, styled in fork shape,

matching the big curve of stretched wings.

There, a third one came for a chasing game.

she’s closely followed by her darling mate.

For hours two teams play the frenzy chase.

Magpies tried swooping at them but failed.

Big birds are no match in agile flying pace.

Weeny ones can beat them in a long race.

Background story: I often marvel at the Australian welcome swallows that fly so close to the ground and dashing near you like light. They are much smaller than the Chinese swallows but prettier. I saw them often during spring season at the oval nearby home and on our golf course at Riversdale Club.

Picture from


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