The pitter-patter of little feet
is a gull paddling on the grass
to raise a worm from its
through the threat of rain.
The stare of a gull, unable to
unwilling to turn the head away,
outfaces you every time. The
black pupil, silver eye-ring, challenges.
Red spot on the
a chick’s target to peck at,
to make the parent throw up
last catch – fish, chip, pizza crust.
The aggressive wing-joint’s thrust
and I don’t know if in human arms it would be
elbow, wrist or
fist. It doesn’t work on us;
we don’t know gull’s language of
Head down, neck stretched out, the keening call
makes to beg for food
from a more successful adult,
that’s something we
They’ll watch the eiders dive
then dive on them as they
keen to snatch a morsel of mollusc
before it can be
It’s no surprise Hitchcock chose you
for the attack: the
strength, sharpness of beak,
all-out and in your face, breaking through
confronting us, from somewhere alien.
Colin Will, Scotland