Poetry: 3 Poems - Ion Corcos

When the Gulls Come


No waves on shingle
or a stranded fishing boat; only salt mist, 
a cemetery along the windy road, 
ice on the cold air, 
the morning sun just above the trees.
This time no pheasants hang 
outside the shop, no quiet; 
along the road, past the early Sunday walk,
a siren, a leashed dog, 
and the church 
ringing and ringing its bells. 
No quiet, not for the cemetery,
nor the dead. The salt is nothing here; 
instead, where the road turns
and the narrow pavement ends,
a hedge, the fence of farm. 
Still, the gulls come, 
settle in flocks on the ploughed field,  
bring mist. The siren, 
the church bells, bring the sea back; 
bring salt, 
smoked cod, the surge of the River Alde
that ends in grey, the cold sea. 


Cormorant


Sits low on the lake’s skin, 
its feathers black. Long neck, yellow
and white chin. 


Sea crow, corvus marinus
plunges into still water, paddles 
its webbed feet 


after fish, eels, sea snakes,
its wings rudders.
Rises with a fish in beak, swallows. 


Stands on a log 
in brown reeds, hangs its wings 
to dry. 

Fishguard Bay


Still water,
the sway of wings over a rock platform,
grey sand. High on the cliff
I sense the coldness 
you feel, alone.
Hard water,
not drinkable, 
like salt in a pile,
white like the sun
burning your eyes. 


We walk down the slope, 
past the few shops, smoke rising over homes,
moss on brick. 
There is no one else here 
that will understand.
Hard water,
like the night, 
charred wood,    
steep snow on peaks
burning your eyes. 


At the narrow beach 
thick mud, stones covered in weed,
a raven heavy in dress.
I see the cliffs we walked down,
the winding road.
Hard water,
black sky,
clouds like ash,
broken shells
burning your eyes. 

We walk up the slope, knocked 
in the wind, past reeds
rust-brown.
Tamed by the cutting air;
quietened. 
Hard water,
soft like a river,   
the distant sea, 
  no longer
burning your eyes. 

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