As a boy, I learned a hard lesson about life and death.
BACK STORY: In the 1950's, a great deal of sand was dredged up from the mouth of the Bayou Chico, near Pensacola, Florida. Some of this sand was used to make a "peninsula" of sorts, upon which a chemical company installed the gas tanks shown in the picture I took somewhere around 1970.
The dredged up sand, and resulting "gas island" as it was sometimes referred to, made a great habitat for seagulls, who would lay their eggs in the sand. It also made a hunting ground for at least two destructive boys, who were just on the edge of learning the difference between life and death.
The following poem was written many years ago as I thought about those days, and those birds and their eggs.
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FEATHERED FURIES DIVE THE BEAST
SOME FROM THE WEST, SOME FROM THE EAST
"Be gone! Now leave the seagull's land,
You are not welcome, child of man.
You've taken lives ere they began,
You've smashed our eggs hid in the sand."
He raises up his BB gun,
Blinks as his eyes brush past the Sun.
Holds and squeezes...down falls one.
He runs to see what he has done.
"Now gone a year, and gone a friend.
The tale unfolds without an end.
As man-child joins the ranks of men,
But, others come to hunt again."
Feathers gray and white, now red,
The eyes are closed, the bird is dead.
One instant in the man-child's head,
There comes, then goes, some unnamed dread.
"They learn from us, from how we die,
As from us they learned to sail the sky.
There are a few, as years pass by,
Who sometimes learn to heed our cries"
HE LEAVES THE BEACH ON LEAN, BROWN LEGS,
DEAD BIRDS...CRUSHED SEAGULL EGGS.
Copyright Donovan Baldwin
Shaklee 180 Weight Loss
Learn Yoga Now
Fort Worth, Texas