January 31, 2020
Photo by Melanie Black

The Gulls at Herring Cove
A poem by Hilde Ohlson

When life had dealt too harshly
I looked for comfort from the sea.
I was not the only one to do that.
Sitting in a long row on the shore.
Backs turned to the sun, sat the gulls.
I am a ventor.
When things are too tough to bear,
I have to vent.
I need to tell my troubles,
Get them out to let them float away.
But when you are new to town,
It is hard to find a listener.
The land-lord is too busy,
The ticket taker says, “Move on,”
The doctor says, “I have a few minutes.”
The clerk calls, “Next.”
But the gulls are patient, calm.
They have all day.
They are where they want
To be. Lunch is near, the sun is warm,
The water sings a lullaby,
So they have time to listen.
Serenely, they listen,
Nod encouragingly .Come closer,
Nod comfortingly..
They stay, they concur, they seem to smile.
Occasionally one gives a rousing sheer.
If I stay long enough, some
Show me how it is good to rise above,
To stretch your wings and glide,
Looking down upon the problems.
I have learned patience from their repose,
Have learned to gather in nature’s balm,
Deposit troubles on the shore
Among the piles of seaweed
And rise to venture on.

To submit your own photo or poem, email Assistant Library Director Brittany Taylor at btaylor@clamsnet.org