august 2021
written for the National Poetry Day Given Words Competition 2021

Looking for the discarded feast… wandering black-backed gulls… a Weathercat weather snap

the estuary
on the playing fields
winter punched
with sprig
summer hard
as cricket ball
you see the
black-backed gulls
wandering as though
lost on the ground
yet not forsaking
it, even in the
gust where all
it takes
is to hold
their wings open
and they’re
raised with an
upward swoop into
the storm’s sprung
face of dusk
like a soul
on the way up
on last breath
out of its body,
all the games of
that field
played out,
the bones’
abandonned pitch….
so forget
the butterflies and
other winged versions,
i say the black-backed
gulls in their wandering
are the truest image
of the ancestors,
wanting to stay put
on this ‘too, too
sullied’ earth,
turning this way
and that, looking
for the feast
neglected, for a
shouting match
and tussle over
stale chips, the
haggle of bodily
life they, we,
can’t give up on,
each a white of day
strapped there
in their night
and wandering,
till lifted
without a fuss
into a dawn,
when the light
makes us
we swore

Copyright © 2022 Peter Le Baige. All Rights Reserved

Click on the link above to hear a reading of the poem.  The accompanying music is from the opening minutes of the prelude to Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal”, performed here by  Yuri Simonov and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

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