Seagull as Soul

By Marc Janssen

There is a dance
At SW 33rd,
The seagulls
In faded baptismal gowns
Blink yellow eyes
Filled with envy
With cackling ferocity.

Driving out to the dump. Rumbling in the cracked black seat of the blue pick-up. The speedometer needle grinding, and swinging jerkily from 90 to 10 to 90 to 10. The scent heavy in the January storm. Bitter and moody when the white and grey sheet lifted briefly to settle on its smelly soggy dirty bed.

There is a dance
At the D River,
The seagulls
In sand stained wedding gowns
Stained grey
Stained white
Never quite pure.

Above Brownsville, the land sloping away and the trees blanketing the softly slumbering Missouri. The black dress, the black umbrella, the white robe. A tear, the false grass laid to protect black shoes from mud. The cackling laugh is as out of place as the round white stain on the sleeve of the black suit.

There is a dance
At Roads End,
The seagulls in dirty burial gowns
Lift and laugh
Where the culvert
Pours foam into foam.


Marc Janssen likes two things: writing poetry and being alive, not necessarily in that order. He gets published sometimes, most recently in Askew, Cirque Journal, Vine Leaves, The Ottawa Arts Review, and the anthologies, Manifest West, Green is the Color of Winter, and The Northern California Perspective. But, he is alive all the time, or tries to be.