The Guillemot

absurd this bird on land, he stands erect. Wet,
he licks the winds prevailing finger, turns towards the source
a pole and cross, a date line drawn on wave and sand.
Staid and sombre fellow in black suit pants and jacket.

Brown pastor limbs held wide, outstretched to overcast grey,
He preaches silently to fish and weed, low ranks of cloud,
gathering in weather, cyclonic depressions and summer lows
airing clothes of quills and pins soaked in sea-salt and brine.

An undertakers air, a face of barnacles and under water wrinkles
funereal, dark. Still and silent as a mourner he basks
in the westerly winds wayward flow.
Breast fluorescent in the flow of oil and rainbow sheen returning.

a master of street theatre, mime, mute and immobile,
A stolid statue posed on a polished, pillared plinth of wave hewn rocks.
Ungainly in his stilted shuffle, vertiginous clown stumbles down.
Slipping slowly beneath the surface, steel grey viscous, it greets him.

Soundlessly he slides beneath the sheet, surfacing in ducks bob,
feathers dry, oil restored. A master in his work place.
His bill flicks coolness onto his spurred and pinned back
then in a flash he disappears beneath the waves.

To soar and fly, a brightly feathered falcon in a liquid sky

– Dave Kavanagh

2 thoughts on “The Guillemot

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