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Tag Archives gulls

WINTER

Footballers in the park grow younger, play

longer into December nights. In my garden,

leaves decompose. Fogs rise to the window.

I see my father’s features in the glass.

 

Gulls are grave, funereal in their white

seriousness. Bad weather visitors,

fickle as spume-flecks, they flitter from grass

into heavy skies, craftsmen in gravity.

 

Winter is too human for comfort.

Natural we should shudder as darkness

drifts in sooner. Ice seasons carry home

truths on incisive air.

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A REALLY BIG CONVERSATION

The prime minister of the fifth largest
global economy has asserted
the need for a big conversation
about gulls: not the greedy and the fearful
who voted for him but the species
laridae, especially the herring gull
that swarms in seaside towns and marauds
the 99 Flake out of the very hands
of the innocent, young and old alike.

Adult birds dive, swoop and grab to eat –
whether mackerel or deep fried Mars Bar.
The herring gull chick knows instinctively
to peck the red spot on its parents’

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WINTER

Footballers in the park grow younger, play

longer into December nights. In my garden,

leaves decompose. Fogs rise to the window.

I see my father’s features in the glass.

 

Gulls are grave, funereal in their white

seriousness. Bad weather visitors,

fickle as spume-flecks, they flitter from grass

into heavy skies, craftsmen in gravity.

 

Winter is too human for comfort.

Natural we should shudder as darkness

drifts in sooner. Ice seasons carry home

truths on incisive air.

share

LANDFALL

i

 

When swifts no longer sickle the twilight

and gulls beat inland, when clouds pass like

drift ice and a reaper’s moon is rising

like a blooded eye, leaves spiral almost

like tears. In the unlit house, a voice murmurs.

 

ii

 

At flood tide, winds off the waters abuse

the cherry tree and batter the fences.

Just out of hearing, the rolling fathoms calm

to torn branches, occasional ice and

the slow intimation of landfall.

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FAR ABOVE RUBIES

The silence woke her. Beyond the locked door

by now her maids should be chattering

in that harsh tongue. She went to the window.

Even the gulls on the battlements were mute.

And no guards on the ramparts, nobody

in the bailey. The straits were the colour

of the emerald at her neck – her father’s

wedding gift. A barque moved edgily

through the sands. Its pennants spoke of home.

The island’s coast was clear in the sun.

She imagined the light summer wind

stirring its fecund,

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LOOKING FOR PUFFINS: SOUTH STACK REVISITED – POEM FOR OUR DAUGHTER

South Stack, Ynys Môn, ©Sylvia Selzer 2009

 

Of course, by the time it’s my turn at the ’scope

the bugger’s turned its back. ‘It is a puffin,’

reassures the RSPB girl – and,

since she’s pretty and young, I believe

that what I see is not one of the teeming,

noisy, noisome, nesting guillemots,

razorbills or gulls. A hat trick: ageism,

sexism, anthropomorphism – plus

being churlish as a bear rather than

valiant as a lion.

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THE WRECK OF THE ROTHESAY CASTLE

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.

 

 

 

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