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Tag Archives Black Headed Gulls

CROSSING THE COMPASS

When I reach the half landing I will always

pause and at least glance through the long window

that frames garden, high wall, terraced roofs

and sky. I saw, one time, against roseate clouds

lit by the setting sun and billowing

in an easterly wind, dark like a line

of dancing letters, flock after flock

of black-headed gulls, crossing the compass

south east from the drowned meadows of the Dee

to the Mersey’s low tide mud flats north west.

 

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MIRAGE

On Little Eye, a family appears trapped
by the incoming tide – two adults,
a boy, a girl and a dog marooned
in some Enid Blyton adventure.
We anticipate an RNLI
Atlantic hoving to the rescue.
But they wait in the sun for the ebb,
the dog barking at black headed gulls.

By a sandstone outcrop are high, thick bushes
with vivid orange berries – ‘Poisonous!’
we hear our childhood’s guardians call.
But a woman is gathering them –
Sea-buckthorn berries – nutritional,
medicinal throughout Eurasia.

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JUBILEE

‘Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound…and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.’ Leviticus 25:9 & 25.10

 

Much of the chapters and footnotes of England’s,

though not Britain’s, history are scribed here

in stone and iron – Roman Walls, Norman weir,

marshalling yards – the rest is on paper,

of course, and from hearsay. It is said,

for example, for Victoria’s Jubilee,

in our street,

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WE PRISONERS

A lark starting from the heather; a lamb

amazed by a heron; a hare gutted

at a turn in the road; the familiar path

obscured by fern, bramble, convolvulus:

the gallery in my head is open

all hours – by turns, thriving and derelict.

The sparrow in my chest, where my heart lay,

now flings itself at broken panes, now stills.

At the end of the pier, where steamships docked,

black-headed gulls and anglers watch and wait.

The steel-faced laughing man will read our stars.

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