Fred Beake


Seagulls – loiterers of pavements,
scavengers of roads,
you would still be breaking into black bags
if we had not obtained
hard plastic bins to keep you and the foxes out.

resume your age-old sea fishing?’
I have demanded so often,
an ‘Seagulls, why do you not
And cease to grab ice creams from children
and sandwiches out of the hands of old ladies?’

But seagulls, this pandemic has changed my view.
Confined to a room
for most of each day I stare out
at the too average red brick
of the Livermead Cliff hotel, with only a glimpse
of ocean to the left.
And now seagulls, every day of blue sky
I find your sky swimming
full of great irregular beauty;
and for that I forgive you.

Fred Beake was influenced by his childhood in the West Riding. He has translated widely from modern French and classical Latin, and more recently classical Greek.