By Bill Cotter


On the cliff edge,

Dawn’s grey ghosts, the steely eyed gulls,

Are testing their wings.

Below, a seal bellows, slobbers,

Grunts his way through the kelp

And disappears

As the wine bottle sun is spilled over the sea.

And the waves, as they have all night for the restless sleeper,

Form their metaphors,


And rub them out again.


Now, teasing the shifting hollows and crests,

Three gannets appear;

Their buff, arrow point heads thrust forward,

Their disciplined wing beats and glides, beats and glides

Sweeping them on from darkness, into light.


The restless sea,

The rough boned cliffs,

The lean limbed trees among the dunes,

All, all are opening to the light!


But here, on this outcrop

The self,


Fragile, fearful, chiseled and still, remains,

Clutching the patched remnants of the night.


Image by: Juan Davila