Daily Archives: August 27, 2016

Seagull

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on the grey roof below my window
youthful seagull flaps and crows
harassing a bored parent
who turns with an irritated shrug of her wing
as if from a stranger

fledgling follows, begging
persisting in his  ruthless lament
threatening, ready to peck
but each time he approaches she backs away

I watch the dippy dappy flapping dance
and my imagination prompts me to translate:
“mum, I’m huuungry. pleease feeed me…
“What’s in your craw? I’m hungry.
“I’M HUNGRY! FEED ME.
“I’M HUNGRY! DON’T IGNORE ME.
“I’ll RIP YOUR THROAT OPEN IF YOU DON’T FEED ME.
“COME BACK HERE. FEED ME.
“OPEN YOUR BEAK IMMEDIATELY.”

“POOR ME. CAW! ME! CAW CAW CAW”

Mum’s been silent, but she’s had enough.
She opens her beak and she screeches
high pitched, as if in grief
then opening her wings she lifts from the roof
and flies away.
baby struts, his webbed feet flapping angrily
his brindled feathers fluffing like
cotton exploding from a pod.
he struts, he fluffs, he flaps, he crows,
he struts and fluffs then craps and flows
flying, lifting, wings batting, beating, then stilling
as he slides the slipstream
looking for his dinner

on the ground
two sisters quarrel like seagulls

one stomps off
the other follows, growling
“Wait for me.”

©Jane Paterson Basil

Amazon

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Creeping vines
twist around bloody roses,
encasing her body like armour;
circles of thorns, like a
silent threat
decorate her brave flesh
in a failed bid to protect her.

If you think she is dangerous
you’ve misread the signs.
Witness her numbing pain;
feel the white space that surrounds her.
I could say I’ve known her to break
but she was broken long ago,
and the cracks were never erased.

I want to find a way to make her whole;
dissipate the gaps in her soul.
I don’t know if this is love
or compassion or both,
but her sudden laughter is like a gift,
like the sunrise,
like a child’s kiss, like a hug from my sister,
giving me a lift;
making me feel worthwhile,
but when her eyes fade to the distance
I am bereft, knowing she has slipped
into bleak self-loathing.

I tell her she is a success
and  she can think I’m crazy
as long as she trusts what I say.
It’s true she hasn’t slayed all her demons,
but they have sharp teeth and strong defences.
Bravely, day by tiring day
she fights to keep them at bay,
and to me
she’s an Amazon.

I would like her to know
that although we only meet in passing,
I am her friend.

Written for The Daily Post #Witness

©Jane Paterson Basil