Flocking gulls mushroom the pasture lushing green from evening rain;
A flooding tide replenishes the feast of shrimp and worm,
A migrant dunlin scurries out a shoreline meal;
Caplin scud the calm of sunset water, iridescent tempered steel,
Tempting fate beneath the heron sentinel;
In salt marsh ponds, the piper and the curlew rest in single stance,
While loon and duck are aimlessly adrift in seeming headless trance;
Upon a solitary pillar of red amid the surging waves and torn wrack,
A barred hawk plucks and tears the gull ambushed in dawn’s half light,
He rises angered at my intrusive step
And, talon loaded, glides silently from sight.
As tide recedes the stranded crabs seek refuge in the matted weeds
From squabbling mobs of raucous gulls with frenzied needs;
While high above bald eagles soar,
Surveying all that moves along the Southern Shore.
Bryan Douglas Cook P.E.I. August 2010 revised October 2011
Context for Avian Shore
Tanya and I vacationed from August 1 to August 22, 2010 in a small rented cottage (an old relocated ferry station) at Nine Mile Creek on the Northumberland Strait, South Shore of Prince Edward Island. I wrote an extended poem “South Shore Holiday, Prince Edward Island” which related events almost chronologically as they happened during the holiday. As the first poem I had ever written, I later found it uneven and still somewhat of a slave to romantic rhyming pentameter.
I have chosen to revisit it and edit sections as stand-alone poems. This is the second in the series, inspired by the wealth of bird life living on the South Shore.
Read at Tree Reading Series 13 December 2011