‘I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!’ W.B. Yeats
From here the sea is a pewter plate
running between the headlands.
The gorse is bittersweet yellow,
and the shore rocks are grey.
We can see the gannets gather,
a chaos of white, whirling wings,
and hear the clear crack sound
as they hit the water.
There are mackerel there.
The gannets are wild in their greed,
plunging again and again –
each bird a blade. If we
were fishermen we’d follow them,
sharing the plunder.
But we are just spectators, feet planted
on the land. We are distanced,
watching the rising, falling,
sharing this scene.
There is no gentleness in these
white birds, just a mad
hunger, death streamlined,
folded into those narrow wings,
refracted in the shift
between the elements.
No gentleness, but beauty
is sometimes fierce, and strange,
and love is painful sometimes.