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Tag Archives cormorants


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.



A nor’ easterly blew – over Dutchman Bank –

on the front at Beaumaris, so we had

our chips, fish and mushy peas in the Vectra,

watching the ebb tide slowly, slowly expose

the furrowed gold of the Lavan Sands

and the cormorants and oyster catchers

skim the waves, when, suddenly, a herring gull,

that voracious omnivore, that frequenter

of rubbish tips and landfills – the colours

of its plumage pristine, as if painted –

landed on our bonnet and,



A dirty night in the Menai Straits…

a paddle steamer on a sudden sandbank –

pounding itself, pounding itself, pounding…

seas silencing the hullabaloo.


For the last time, the lifeboat pulls for the shore.

Two lovers, roped to the mast, drown their joy.


All turned to chalk on the dark sea bed.

Far, far above was the muffled cry

of gulls, the cormorant’s swift shadow.