Sea, gulls and the river


Becalmed on this sea,

I watch the sky for clouds

and long for the wings of a gull,

but see only reflections of happiness

among white-capped breakers.


Tide flows

bearing gulls,

tossing their feathered laughter

over rushy banks,

vying with tidy blackbirds

for mud-born grubs.


What is the colour of the rain

the dewdrop falling,

the ripple of the stream?

Is there a name for the light

that falls on spring blossom?


Like mercury,

sunlight slips over river water,

scattering silver,

quick and bright,

on the rolling tide.


On the bank,

lapped by the tide,

the kingcups wind about the sedge

and fallen boughs.

I wonder if I dare

to brave the rippling wavelets

and join them.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

8 thoughts on “Sea, gulls and the river”

  1. Lovely; makes me realize how long it’s been since I’ve wandered down to the beach to watch the waves. (A bit cold for that now, even in California.) I especially like the verse about the color of rain and dewdrops and the ripple of the stream.

    1. Thank you! The river is such a calming influence on the city, not that it’s really ever frantic, and being so close to the sea there’s the tidal influence, waves running against the river current, cloud and gulls blowing upriver. I love it 🙂

      1. I’ve been lucky enough to live near rivers in many of my homes. Now I live near the ocean, which is good but different, but it’s not something I see on a regular basis. Very calming when it is, though, I agree.

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