Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kevin Ireland Poetry Competition - runner up poem by Bernard Brown

Getting the Bird –Letter from Yalta                                                                                                        
You asked me to have it stuffed for you – Chekov The Seagull

I contemplate the old tough seagull as he settles
                                        on a barge post at the wharf and craps com-
                placently.  (Volumes could be written but would be duller
                                         even than this letter home by me.)

                                         When not post restant he flap-flops about
                                         incoming ferries but not expansively for one
                                         at home on air and land and sea.  Designed
                                         to be more versatile than us, he lacks

                                        sea-bird acuity yet one-eyes me as if
                                        that is a plus. I snap him tugging at his scraps
                                        while he views me as taking him
                                        too casually. I sense he wonders whence

                                       the borsch he knows I ate will soon
                                       need to evacuate. If you can think
                                       about it, all the whys and wheres and whens
                                       of him wear thin. Unlike the albatross,

                                       so enigmatic and austere (who
                                       mariners and poets tend to revere) my
                                       tatty scatty seagull with his one-eyed stare
                                       craps lustily and doesn’t give a toss.                             

Bernard Brown


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