Sunday, June 30, 2024

The Gossip of the Gulls by Oliver Kleyer

What cicadas are to the South,
seagulls are to the North,
a constant soundtrack for the coast,
joyfully chatting away between
bites of stolen fish sandwiches,
scolding their wingless neighbours,
sometimes sounding like a monkey
house or my alarm clock.

I’ve been listening to them
for all of my life, until
the point where I believe
I understand their Gullese
and know what the gossip
of the gulls is all about:

“Hey, this is my territory!”

“Look, there are tourists,
they are eating fries and
haven’t noticed us yet!”

“Listen, the guy over there
just tried to scare us away.
Let’s all fly over and
crap on his car!”

-“Have you seen Eveline’s new frock?”
-“Her first adult plumage.”
-“I think, less glitter would do her good.”

-“I am a seagull. Sqawk! Sqawk!”
-“Excuse me, Mr Raven, are you kidding me?”

This is why I sing my song to a seagull.

Fly on, my little seabird.
Fly on to the horizon, to where
the rainbows come from.

Be somebody’s sign for land, somebody’s
soul, somebody’s dream, somebody’s hope.


Oliver Kleyer is a teacher and poet from Northern Germany. He teaches German as a Second Language in a refugee camp. He writes in Geman and English. His works have appeared in 101 Words, The Creative Zine and Bubble as well as in anthologies like FromOneLine to another or Dadakuku 1.