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How long will we have to wait?

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How long will we have to wait?

We line the cliff top path.

Below, the breakers resonate   

and jubilant kittiwakes laugh.

We question one of the volunteer staff, 

“How long will we have to wait?”


“How long will you have to wait?”

She smiles and makes it clear:

yesterday it was ten to eight,

Thursday, not here -

or so they think - it didn’t appear!

“How long can you bear to wait?”


How long will we have to wait?

Tripods assemble in rows

as shutterbugs anticipate

East Yorkshire’s greatest show.

Fulmars wheel but no one knows

how long we might have to wait.


How long will we have to wait?

I neither know nor care

when flights of gannets radiate 

from here to everywhere 

and razorbills slice through the air.

It’s no great chore to wait.


How long will we have to w…


A simultaneous draw

of wordless breath articulates 

a hundred birders’ awe.

The coveted black browed wonder soars

sublime, and worth the wait.


How long did we have to wait?

An hour or maybe three?

Not pertinent to calculate:

the albatross I see

will best the best of sights for me

however long I wait.


How long will I have to wait?

This question’s in its eyes,

the pain distinct as it circulates

beneath these northern skies

flung far from where home water lies.

How long will I have to wait?


How long will it have to wait?

It’s roamed the North Sea now

for sixty years in hope a mate 

will come to it somehow.


Should we not seize what life allows,

how long must we then wait?


albatrossbirdsbirdwatchingBempton Cliffsseabirds

◄ Failing the people

The price of coal ►


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Tim Ellis

Mon 12th Jun 2023 21:48

Prodigious the words you can find in a good thesaurus, Uilleam!

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Sun 11th Jun 2023 17:53

Than you Tim.
I like the word shutterbug.
Carpe Diem indeed!

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