A Gull

A seagull stood on my window-ledge today,
said nothing, but had a good look inside.
That was a cold inspection I can tell you!
North winds, icebergs, flash of salt
crashed through the glass without a sound.
He shifted from leg to leg, swivelled his head.
There was not a fish in the house - only me.
Did he smell my flesh, that white one? Did he think
I would soon open the window and scatter bread?
Calculation in those eyes is quick.
'I tell you, my chick, there is food everywhere.'
He eyed my furniture, my plants, an apple.
Perhaps he was a mutation, a supergull.
Perhaps he was, instead, a visitation
which only used that tight firm forward body
to bring the waste and dread of open waters,
foundered voyages, matchless predators,
into a dry room. I knew nothing.
I moved; I moved an arm. When the thing saw
the shadow of that, it suddenly flapped,
scuttered claws along the sill, and was off,
silent still. Who would be next for those eyes,
I wondered, and were they ready, and in order?

from Cathures (Carcanet Press, 2002), copyright © Edwin Morgan 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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1The Death of Marilyn Monroe

2The Second Life


4One Cigarette

5When you Go


8The Apple's Song

9The Loch Ness Monster's Song


11The First Men on Mercury


13For Bonfires


15A Home in Space

16Instructions to an Actor

17The Video Box: Number 25

18The Dowser

19Il Traviato

20Planet Wave: The Great Pyramid

21The Demon And The World

22A Gull


24The Freshet

2521 June

26At Eighty

16Edwin Morgan is eating an orange

Books by Edwin Morgan