Herring Gulls

I walk away from the town,
from the fish and chips,
from the candy floss,
from the people

to the further points
of the cliff top,
to find the gulls
in their natural habitat,

watch them work their way up-wind
then turn and soar away with barely
a flicker of wing tips in a display
of, what seems to me, sheer joy,

almost as if they are celebrating,
praising, their wind-defined world.


48 Responses to “Herring Gulls”

  1. What an absolutely beautiful poem David!

    The poem itself soars up high on the wind, and celebrates your wonderful talent.

    Love you loads



  2. Elaine Randall English Says:

    LOVE this! Sure hope my muse will return one day so I can visit the realm where you were when you wrote this.

  3. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    I love this style of poem,
    and yours is so very well done!

    It leaves me with the feeling
    of wanting to join this wind defined-world,
    and then I smiled and thought:
    “but my soul can!”

    Thanks for the direction of thought πŸ™‚

    wishing you a good week
    Vera with Karley

    • What a wonderful comment,

      Absolutely our souls can!!!

      Which is what allows me to write poems like this on dark, damp winters days! πŸ™‚

      Enjoy your trip to the wind-defined world πŸ™‚

      My love to you and Karley.
      I hope you both have a good week


  4. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    with Love πŸ™‚

  5. They do look joyful at times don’t they?? Smiling..I love the freedom you have given yourself here,and the gulls!! Great write!! Hugs David

  6. Wouldn’t you do the same had you wings?
    I like very much the stepping away from man’s usual realm to their world. You leave us with a lovely image.

  7. Enjoyed. Interesting that you’ve an incorporated a moving narrator several times in your recent posted poems. I like that technique – although I suppose it can’t be used all the time. Candy floss is a great symbol of sugary frivolity.

    • Hi Paul,

      I am never quite sure whether I am writing poems or telling stories.
      I guess the ‘moving narrator’ works well within a story – but you are right “it can’t be used all the time”

      Whitby is much more known for fish and chips than candy floss but it just fitted in well with what I was trying to say πŸ™‚

      My best to you

  8. so lovely,… I love to watch the gulls on the waterfront… seems that once they catch the right sort of updraft, they can coast forever

    • Thank you Sarah,

      They are beautifully attuned to the environment they live in – so much more attractive when coasting like that then when scrapping for a share of fish and chips!! πŸ™‚


  9. Hi David

    This is very “uplifting” πŸ™‚ as you describe the spirit of those birds so well! I like the thought of you going all that way to see the gulls πŸ™‚ , most people take those birds for granted as they are with so many. The joy they seem to have in challenging the wind should teach us something about the art of life?

    BTW: this poem reminded me of a poem I recently read :
    http://allpoetry.com/poem/8607615-Sea_Gulls-by-Edwin_John_Pratt , beautiful too but I think I like yours better lol. (not to suck up!)

    Herring Gulls (there is no such thing as Seagulls, right πŸ˜‰ ) have the strength to survive in difficult situations. And they are clever. I remember a gull who would hop around the port on one leg, getting chips from people who felt sorry for him, but as soon as they left, he would reveil his other leg!

    I take it this is Whitby πŸ™‚ and that this means you are packing already? I can’t wait to go there either! And I will take special notice of the Herring Gulls πŸ™‚

    I hope your day is not grey anymore.

    Big love πŸ™‚


    • ps your blogtime is my time now πŸ™‚

    • Hi Ina,

      Yes, the poem is about Whitby πŸ™‚
      I do realise that I am endowing the gulls with a human emotion – joy. But there is no better word to describe what I see.
      And yes, their adaption to their environment has a lot to teach us about the “art of life” πŸ™‚

      I will go have a look at that other poem shortly.

      As I drive down towards Whitby I always lower the window of my car so that I can smell the sea and hear the herring gulls – they are very much part of my enjoyment of the place.

      I am really looking forward to seeing you there πŸ™‚

      Big Love πŸ™‚


      • I just thought you did a good job in NOT making them too human πŸ™‚ As in birds there is a very different reality, that we humans can’t grasp and we shouldn’t try perhaps. πŸ™‚

        Looking forward to meeting you too πŸ™‚

        Arohanui πŸ™‚

  10. I want to echo some of the comments above — I would love to find a muse who allows me to write the way you do. Your descriptions are lovely, as always! 😎

  11. I love this the serenity of it … you put the reader right there… a grogeous picture a fine piece David!

  12. Hi David,

    This is a most beautiful way to start the morning! Gulls in their natural habitat.
    I do think they play and most certainly enjoy the experiance of being carried up by the wind currents.

    This reminded me of parts of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull.

    “How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!”

    “He spoke of very simple things – that it is right for a gull to fly,that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.”


    This definitely speaks of freedom to me, the joy of just being in the moment. πŸ™‚ I shall take that joy with me into my day flying in my minds eye, as I re-organise my kitchen cupboards. πŸ™‚
    I shall also post a note to myself to go to the beach, I do miss it, and you’ve left me with craving for fairy floss…it’s been years! πŸ˜€

    and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Tikarma,

      What a wonderful quote – Just exactly so!! We can learn a lot if we take the time to observe what nature has to teach us πŸ™‚

      I am quite sure your kitchen cupboards will benefit from you being in that joyous place whilst you re-organise πŸ™‚

      I have never heard the term “fairy floss” before – Enjoy it πŸ™‚

      and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

      • πŸ˜€ Indeed! nature has much to teach if we have the patience and take the time to sit and listen. πŸ™‚

        *LOL* I’m not sure how much my cupboards appreciate not being cluttered but I certainly like it. πŸ™‚ Having a happy state of mind certainly makes it go faster. πŸ™‚

        πŸ™‚ Fairy floss is exactly the same as candy floss. I have no idea what fairy’s have to do with it and I’m certain it contains no added fairy just the “goodness” of whipped sugar coloured pink melting in your mouth. πŸ™‚ I will indeed enjoy it. πŸ™‚

        and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

      • *Smiling Out Loud*

        I now have a delightful image in my head of you and your fairy floss πŸ™‚
        Do get Jamie to take a picture – there is no elegant way to eat candy floss *Grin*

        and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

  13. Wind-defined. Simple, not complicated, unlike so many things in life. Lucky gulls. Lovely poem.

  14. Hi David,

    Lovely poem, which brings one right back at the beach! Sometimes I do wonder why birds often stay in the same place and not fly around the world, but that of course is a human approach. Because I would if I would have wings πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Francina,

      Some birds do of course fly thousands of miles across the world when they migrate.
      I have spent many happy hours on the cliffs of eastern England watching gannets return from migation to their breeding place on Bempton cliffs.
      To see them fly in formation, taking it in turns to lead, is quite spectacular πŸ™‚


  15. Ah if only people can be more like gulls in this regard.


  16. A great feeling of freedom away from worldiness in your poem (:

  17. This is such a lovely poem, David! It describes the play of gulls so beautifully –
    “almost as if they are celebrating,
    praising, their wind-defined world.”

    I’ve felt the same way, watching gulls fly over our Puget Sound beaches – they DO seem to be celebrating and praising. Wonderful – I love this!!

  18. “their wind-defined word” what a beautiful image those words conjure.
    Another wonderful poem David
    Hugs Tricia
    P S In Australia we too refer to the whipped sugar, melt in your mouth delight as fairy floss.

    • *Smile*

      The whole poem started from that phrase Tricia. πŸ™‚

      You and Tikarma both come from that wonderful part of the world. It is on my wish list to visit if I ever win the Lottery πŸ™‚

      Hugs to you too

  19. Susan Morgan Bosler Says:

    Just wonderful David. I love feeling of freedom and the rush of the wind – I swear, I can feel it against my face. Hugs and blessings dear friend – Susan

  20. David, I am under orders from Ethel to tell you that this is a wonderful poem, and it is, but it also reminds me of Ethel’s poetry, so I shall tell that to you too. It is the last line that defines the poem, of course, listing everyone here who go that would create quite a long list. But in Ethel’s poetry the natural world, as you describe it, often defines the human world, putting all of us into a universe larger than our places of fish and chips, candy floss, and people. The poet sees this world and participates in it through observation, but in the end, as in your poem, it soars away from us into a now that is beautiful, magical, wondrous and filled with a life that we feed our spirits on so that we can find ourselves whole in the world. So, as Ethel says, this is a wonderful poem. Tom and Ethel

    • Hi Tom,

      That one of my poems should remind you of Ethel’s poetry I take as a huge compliment. I am a great fan of her work and of the view it gives me into the world.
      I do find that immersing myself in the natural world and its rhythms allows me access to that place which is the ‘now’. I always come away from there in a better frame of mind.
      As I sit here at my computer I can watch the blue tits fly in and out of an alder tree on their way to and from the bird feeder on my balcony. That of itself brings a smile to my face and changes my outlook on the world πŸ™‚

      My very best to you both

  21. to respect what blows us along ………. i suppose that’s a necessity of spirit. to fly before the nature of a push. always such a sense of peace in your words.

    • *Smile*

      Took me a lot of years Eileen to realise that it was much easier to be prepared to ‘go with the flow’ than fight against it all the time πŸ™‚

      Thank you


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