The Winter Wings of Gulls—a Sestina in Progress: Day 3, Stanzas 1-3

The writing’s getting a little purple in the third stanza, a common occurrence I think for writers trying to grasp a form. Might have to write a replacement for it—we’ll see how it looks and works once the rest of the stanzas are in place.

The Winter Wings of Gulls

When their wings of winter begin to drift, pile up,
turn the sky and the salt marshes’ blue pools white,
when their cries ache like late-January mornings deep
in joints, seep as north winds do through old cracks
to settle into bone, I can’t admire how gulls turn
overhead, disconsolate, impatient, hungry all the time—

it’s the same ache that fastens all of us to time,
that stretches taut through our days, pulls us up
out of our beds in the night to pace and turn
to sit stiff upright at screens with fingers white-
knuckled at keyboards while age’s incipient cracks
slowly chasm in our skin to sink our beauty deep

around our measuring eyes (which also keep deep
wishes suspended among rods and cones where time
can barely touch them until they slip between cracks
widened by pressing photons to fall out, trip us up
as tangles of want writhing around our ankles—white
blind snakes making our faces pale, our stomachs turn).

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
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One Response to The Winter Wings of Gulls—a Sestina in Progress: Day 3, Stanzas 1-3

  1. Pingback: The Winter Wings of Gulls—a Sestina in Progress: Day 6, Stanzas 1-7 | Mumbling Jack

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