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Herring Gulls


By Oliver Barres | May 1984

They quarrel in low tide mud

Over scraps of rotten food;

They rest on fishhouse roofs.

Retreating from feud.


They batter the air in flight,

Shrill-screaming at swifter thieves,

Swooping to carry off

What another leaves.


They circle on motionless wings,

Then ride a wind’s long rise,

Disdaining the distant dunes

And greedy cries.


Sea hunters again, they join

The endless offal chase —

Rapacious, yet seekers of sky

On wings of grace.

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