There are no such things as Seagulls

Seventy miles from the sea
in any direction,
yet I can hear
the seagulls.

There are no such things as seagulls
the man once said.
There are
black-headed gulls,
Mediterranean gulls,
yellow-legged gulls,
herring gulls,
little gulls,
lesser and greater black-backed gulls,
glaucous gulls,
Iceland gulls,
common gulls,
and Sabine’s gulls.
There are no such things as seagulls.

Seventy miles from the sea
in any direction,
and I can hear
herring gulls.



31 Responses to “There are no such things as Seagulls”

  1. Captivating verse — as usual, the best!

  2. This poem has been posted before – albeit with a different title.

    But, having finished last year with a poem about birds it seemed only reasonable to start the new year with one πŸ™‚

    Also this new title is the provisional title of a new book of my poetry to be published by Valley Press in june of this year.
    I will let you all have more details nearer the time


  3. LOL I smiled yet again!! 2 days ago there were gulls everywhere when I went to town, and we are 3 hours from the sea.. We had quite a storm that evening; guess that’s why they were at McDonalds,scrounging for food.. LOve this one so much!! Hugs David!!

  4. Longer days, lighter nights, warmer weather, visits to Whitby, sound of the waves, “gabby” gulls – all a prequel to the long awaited book. Can’t wait!!

    Love this poem – perfect lift for the soul on a grey January day! πŸ™‚

    Love you loads



  5. a beautiful piece.. takes one to the place where the soft silence of their splendor resides..(lol I call them sea pigeons in Florida they are everywhere!)

  6. What ever name they have, they are still a bloody pest.

    Nice poem David πŸ™‚

    Swallow-tailed Gulls

    Ivory Gull

  7. A lovely poem, and I think I relate to what is said. To me, it sounds like a biting metaphor for how people perceive each other.
    Happy New Year!

  8. lol! i suppose one should attempt the proper name ….. though perhaps a form of etiquette mostly observed by the birdwatcher. i find it strange to have seagulls here, this far inland. because of the Salt Lake — but don’t know if they venture to the coast in colder months or not.

    of course grew up with gulls in california — we always had to watch out for getting ‘dive-bombed’ when having lunch in high school πŸ™‚

    • *Big Smile*

      I tend to be lazy too Eileen about the names. But ever since the man said that I have tended to pay more attention – it does make it more interesting πŸ™‚

      Good to know that herring gulls behave in the same way the whole world over πŸ™‚


  9. Hi David

    This is a nice way to start your poetical year!
    I admire people that can name birds and plants, I can’t very well, but I know there are all sorts of gulls. Like there are all sorts of galls I suppose πŸ™‚
    Kittiwakes… what an odd name, do they pur?

    I just saw a bunch of herring gulls trying to fly (storm, 10 beaufort, not easy!) They are amazingly strong and bold! One of the downsides of them is they pick out eyes of weak seal babies, but as a bird, they are magnificent!

    So there are no such things as seagulls… and they are no things, but creatures! πŸ™‚ The title to me means that we should see every creature as unique and one of a kind πŸ™‚ .

    I am looking forward to your new book. Will you add a cd again?

    Arohanui πŸ™‚


    • Thank you Ina,

      I am gradually learning to identify the birds – by both sight and sound πŸ™‚

      Kittiwakes are birds who speak their own name – how they got the name I guess πŸ™‚

      I love watching herring gulls when the wind is really strong – they are magnificently suited to their windy environment.

      “The title to me means that we should see every creature as unique and one of a kind” – Hellopoponta picked up on that as well – made me see the poem with a different eye. You are both right of course.

      I don’t think there will be a CD this time – although I may record some of them and put them on YouTube. We shall see πŸ™‚


  10. Delightful poem with a twist of humor, the ending made me laugh.. Very fine write , David

  11. Brilliant as ever. What more need I say?

  12. Hi David,

    It is good to read this poem again. It has a contemplative tone which I always like about your sea themed and Whitby poems.

    It too has a playful cheekiness not unlike those seasgulls- pacific gulls in my case who will slowly amble towards you with absolute innocence before making a dive for a chip. πŸ˜€

    I think the title of the poem would make a great title for the book. πŸ™‚ I will be looking forward to more updates on your new book as they come. πŸ™‚

    This was indeed a most lovely way to start a new year of poems and blogs. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem again. πŸ™‚

    and K’sOTC

    • Hi Tikarma,

      I am smiling out loud at your pacific gulls with their pretended innocence.
      The herring gulls take a more gun-slinger, John Wayne, threatening approach πŸ™‚
      But the sound of their cry takes my mind instantly to Whitby πŸ™‚

      I will keep you informed about progress on the book.

      and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

  13. Great fun David! (And of course, deeply philosophical … !)

  14. David a wonderful poetic start to the new year.

    Birds hold a very special place in my heart for many reasons.
    They sit on the fence outside the window of my study, they sing, dance and bring joy.

    They are due the respect of being named correctly.

    All the best for 2012
    With growing affection for your warmth and your words.

    • Thank you Tricia,

      I live in a mostly city landscape, but there is a tree outside my window which is a constant source of delight to me because of the visitors it attracts.

      And I am learning to name the visitors correctly πŸ™‚

      All the best to you too for 2012.


  15. Ethel says, great poem! I say this is a gull-ity of a poem that made both of us laugh outloud. May the raucousness of your day take flight into the blue sky and remind us that all of life is individual, not several–even if things seem that way. What a poem!

  16. How can this be? NO such things as seagulls, yet you can hear them. I do too.

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