Seagulls Twist Air

Seagulls twist air in their gray
bodies. Waves heave themselves on the sand. If there is an antique
people recall here, or a god presiding over huge waters
that I could invoke, I am not aware of it.

But I can see that oceans carry hearts
turning blood. At ocean’s shores, reeling seagulls are ghosts of
who lived alone ; their cries rush down their own
brain holes like a numbing wind.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Seagulls Twist Air”?

I wrote “Seagulls Twist Air” when I was in grade ten or eleven, so this is the work of a teenager. I’m looking at a seagull and at the same time trying to be genuine and honest and faithful to what I feel and think about aspects of my life up to that time.

What poetic techniques did you use in “Seagulls Twist Air”?

I was trying here to create a verse pattern (a rudimentary one, of course). I’ve always been partial to pattern and neatness in the appearance of a poem on the page. Also, aside from satisfying a visual need, for me a verse pattern can be a way to get control of the emotion and drama in a poem.

This poem “Seagulls Twist Air” originally appeared in Science & Literature. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 96 (Spring 1983): 85.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.