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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

White-Feathered Pirates


Against
bruised cotton clouds,
the seagulls circled
in a pattern that
I couldn't explain
but existed,
mysterious and ominous.

If they possessed
a greater intellect
and these damned
opposable thumbs,
they might converge
upon me,
stealing my groceries
like noisy
white-feathered pirates,
pecking at my eyes
and skull
just for atavistic laughs.

“That’ll teach you
to be one of them,”
they’d mock,
meting out their rough justice,
their entertainment,
against me,
guilty of humanity.

They’d be as arbitrary
and dispassionate
as evolution,
as natural selection.

After the attack,
they’d flap away
in drunken, loopy circles,
laughing their way
to their next victim.

Thankfully,
they've only
the gift of flight
and not anything
resembling
human intelligence.

[Written for #OpenLinkNight at dversepoets.com - the swingingest place for poets on the ‘net!]

40 comments:

  1. or perhaps they are smart...and so keep to themselves, you know....saw some gulls here, way out of place the other day...as arbitrary
    and dispassionate
    as evolution,
    as natural selection...caught me as well...and we become just another dumb schmuck who happened to be there...

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    1. "Right place, wrong time" as Dr. John would say. Thanks and watch out overheard.

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  2. Wow Buddah - that's all a bit Hitchcockian. Glad those seagulls are really bird-brains :-)

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    1. I know - trying not to write The Birds (esp as I've never seen it), but it struck me that they could've ganged up and done me some damage. Thank God they're bird-brained. If they were human-brained, it could've been worse.

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  3. Love this - especially since we have had a huge flock of gulls visiting the cove this week. I love to watch them hover and fish -so beautiful - just hope they don't get any ideas about stealing my groceries! K

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    1. Thanks - yes, secretly I envy most birds.

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  4. You had me at the second word...the second line. "Bruised cotton clouds" Brilliant Buddah! Brilliant...and my laughter at the end. Great pacing!

    Cheers,

    Mark Butkus

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    1. Thanks, brother, yes that was the image that started me writing this morning.

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  5. Awesomeness, my friend.
    This gets a big "wish I'd bumped these words together myself" from me:
    'bruised cotton clouds'
    Fantastic.

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    1. Thanks, humbled by yo' praise.

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  6. ha..i had my fights with them as well on sidney fishmarket when they wanted to steal my lunch...ha...white feathered pirates for sure..

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    1. Little noisy bastards, but they fascinate me.

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  7. Interesting poem, Mosk. Different than your usual, I think. Ha, indeed they only have the gift of flight....enough for them to survive!

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    1. I was trying to make the point that they are more humane than we (with all our cognitive sophistication) are, but I think it got lost somewhere.

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  8. The gulls are really noisy but thankfully they have the gift of flight ~ I shudder to imagine if they are intelligent to peck our eyes out ~

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    1. How intelligent can they be? They eat garbage. Thanks for commenting.

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  9. They follow me around at the grocery store parking lot, so very tame... but thinking of them as pirates is great imagination.

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    1. I just saw "Pirates of the Caribbean" over the weekend so the image came naturally. Thanks.

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  10. You painted such a beautiful scene which became an attack from sea gulls, I love it. My favourite line is "bruised cotton clouds"

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    1. Thanks, we may have the opposable thumbs but they can fly!

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    2. Yeah, they eat garbage...but then so do we...often. Clever, funny, and yet oh so thoughtful piece here, Mosk. Love it!

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    3. Can't seem to register a comment here. grrrr...// The birds might eat garbage, but then so do we, often. Funny and thoughtful piece, Mosk. Like it alot!

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    4. I eat more than my share of garbage... thanks.

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  11. Anonymous8:10 PM

    I have never had a close encounter with gulls, but my cuz has had food grabbed right out of her hand before. haha! And she said she wasn't the only one around, but they chose her. Sounds like a little humanistic bullying to me. :) thanks poet friend . .wonderful poem to get us thinking! -deb

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    1. Thanks. I tried to make the implicit comparison that we are no better than the gulls (we are opportunistic thugs to the animal kingdom), but perhaps that was lost. As long as you didn't think it a waste of time, then I'm happy.

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  12. Great write... really captured my fear of flocks of circling seagulls!

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    1. Thanks - yes those birds can be menacing - need to rent that Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds." Besides, you're a Cat - birds should be afraid of *you*!

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  13. Relieved at the ending... paranoia was starting to set in on me...

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    1. Thanks - and don't worry, I remember reading an excellent article entitled "Paranoia is a Heightened State of Awareness."

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  14. this rocks, Mosk. loved the "bruised cotton clouds" and that whole second stanza with the title line in it, especially. from someone who has been known to write a poem or two about herons, this had me thinking more toward the coast, and the sea. (though we do get the occasional white-feathered pirate here as well) :)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! -Atavistic laughs indeed!

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  15. Ooh, reminds me of Hitchcock! Those seagulls can be really nasty. I remember being terrified of them as a child when they all converged on my snacks at the beach!

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    1. Thanks for the Hitchcock comparison. I have "The Birds" coming from Netflix this weekend.

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  16. and dispassionate
    as evolution,
    as natural selection

    and yet there is no passion in anything else.
    many birds seem to ride the wave of humanity
    seagulls, sparrows, starlings
    working to their own logic =)

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    1. I agree - and still envy their flight.

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  17. I don't know--I spent a lot of time at the beach when I lived on L.I.. The gulls seemed pretty smart (or instinctive) to me! Could be hovering down the beach one second and next to you the next you dropped your snack! Guess it's a darn good thing they DON'T have opposable thumbs! Enjoyed reading your poem :-)

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    1. Thanks, Ginny! I was trying to show that even though we're the evolved opposable thumb type, they may be more noble. They can be bastards though!

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  18. wow, this packs a punch...one does have to wonder what they are thinking beyond "what a waste, all those oreos, just melting on the beach...mmm and chips and what's that? rice cakes? seriously?"

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    1. One man's waste is another bird's bounty! Thanks!

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  19. I don't know; I think birds are more intelligent than they let on. I have a feeling they're constantly laughing at is.

    nice piece. the visual of the attack and their cheery drunken retreat was quite a treat.

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