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E.J. PRATT


Sea Gulls


For one carved instant as they flew,

The language had no simile –

Silver, crystal, ivory

Were tarnished. Etched upon the horizon blue,

The frieze must go unchallenged, for the lift

And carriage of the wings would stain the drift

Of stars against a tropic indigo

Or dull the parable of snow.


Now settling one by one

Within green hollows or where curled

Crests caught the spectrum from the sun,

A thousand wings are furled.

No clay-born lilies of the world

Could blow as free

As those wild orchids of the sea.