I happened up on this gem at TLS. If you have a moment to read their gentle dissection you’ll be glad you did. You’ll also be glad I spared you the [colorful] picture that inspired Once Upon A Dead Gull. 😉
By Stanley Moss
When I was a child, before I knew the word
for a snowstorm, before I remember
a tree or a field,
I saw an endless grey slate afternoon coming,
I knew a bird singing in the sun
was the same as a dog barking in the dark.
A pigeon in a blizzard fluttered
against a kitchen window,
– my first clear memory of terror,
I kept secret, my intimations
I kept secret.
This winter I hung a grey and white stuffed
felt seagull from the cord of my window shade,
a reminder of good times by the sea,
of Chekhov and impossible love.
I took comfort from the gull, the graceful shape
sometimes lifted a wing in the drafty room.
Once when I looked at the gull I saw
through the window a living seagull glide
toward me then disappear, – what a rush of life!
I remember its hereness,
while inside the room
the senseless symbol
little more than a bedroom slipper
dangled on a string.
Beyond argument, my oldest emotion
hangs like a gull in the distant sky.
Eyes behind bars of mud and salt
see some dark thing below,
– my roof under the sea.
Only the sky is taken for granted.