Sick of tragedy, I went to the beach
To consider seagulls.
There is something in the gull of bladder and comb;
Something of tumbling.
For he, given a big wind, does not struggle
But spreadeagles suffering Jesus and in bliss
Rides motionless over the moving world
No fall fatal, he
Folds wings and drops sheer,
A sudden dead thing, swallowed by waters,
Then rises, moments later,
And when in present trouble, he
Gull-wings and approaches torment not head-on,
But weirdly, in parabolic dance,
And so I consider the seagull in the vault of daybreak as,
With eyes half-full of the dignity of a sad-faced clown
He scolds me and he eats my bread-crumb alms.
-- Stephen K. Roney