• Joanna Seldon

  • Birds and People


    When I see a gull,

    Its eye hard,




    Its greedy beak slashing

    Into rubbish sacks,

    Its military feet pounding the grass

    To make the poor worms rise,

    I whisper that birds come lovelier in groups:


    A flock of seagulls wheeling above the beach,

    Their cry telling us to rejoice

    In sky wide open, endless,

    Their wings glinting sunlight;

    A skein of starlings hovering like gnats

    Ethereal in sunset above

    The West Pier,

    A delicate pouch of speckles.


    And again I whisper


    With people it’s the other way round:

    We come lovelier singly:

    A man walks on the beach; 

    A child looks up at the fading sky,



    Octogenarian pumps his stick, rising

    From promenade bench.


    Put them in a crowd –

    They’re ugly predators.

    Put them in a crowd

    And they march,