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Tag Archives black headed gull

THE GULLS OF VENICE

‘Imperfection is in some sort essential to all that we know in life.

THE STONES OF VENICE John Ruskin

 

Many things are forbidden in Venice:

sitting on the steps in St Mark’s Square;

hailing water taxis from water bus pontoons;

putting out food waste except on the hook

provided between the designated hours

in order to deter gabbiani;

of which there are two species, compatriots,

the black-headed gull and the herring gull,

comune and reale respectively,

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AT THE YEAR’S TURNING

I pause at the long window where the stairs turn.

The first hard frost of the season has rimed

the moss on the terrace. A neighbour has thrown,

as she does daily, stale bread on the flat roof

of her garage. Two Jackdaws arrive

then a small flock of Black-headed gulls

in winter plumage. The first comers

are aggressive. The gulls hover, swoop, feint,

feed swiftly, rise, return – like dancers.

(How truly ancient is these animal’s

ancestry! How arriviste we primates are!).

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