The Naturalist

Library

1. The Shore
A pelican frame,
the great wings hung,
flight feathers scattered,
elegant bill and sail spoiled.
An inverted stingray
(smiley face, gills like buttonholes)
alive with flies and sea lice.
Rope, kelp, sharp sand and basalt ovoids.

2. The Rookery
Raucous kee-oww at 100dBA.
The complete cycle of the silver gull —
fucking, nesting (untidy ground dish)
speckled eggs, downy chick peep,
wanderers are murdered
or eagle / owl prey, blasted remains.
Stink and new life and rot everywhere;
yellow femurs back to rich dust.

At night we walked through the rookery,
many hundreds moving
dark wings on a darker sky
turning together.


Image: John Gould Esq., F.R.S., the ornithologist – from a lithograph by Maguire, The Illustrated London News, June 12, 1852. Gould was a famous ornithologist of the 19th Century. Among his famous works was Birds of Australia. And for some silliness here’s Finnish band Steve n Seagulls with the AC/DC hit Thunderstruck (these are kooky fellas, no?)

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