Ian Caws


Behind him a lit western sky – the gull
on the gable of the house opposite.
He looks out to sea as if it were all
his, alone as the afternoon gets late.

I cannot enter such authority,
such security of being, and as
the sly dark hides its hand of cards, haughty
and slow, he struts the way of one who knows,

his outline fading by an aerial.
And he is here every evening
as I pour wine, push day from my table.
I look up, he is gone as if nothing

had happened and the sky had thrown a cloak
over us. He has gone to join other
birds in the Channel perhaps. Where fish make
movement in deep water, the days gather.

Ian Caws has published 13 collections of poetry, one of which, “The Ragman Totts”, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He has been the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award and runner up in the National Poetry Competition.