Howard Firkin
Once more the age old foes face off together:
sun-hatted toddler; wary silver gull.
The ancient, human ache to steal a feather,
to touch, to hold, to own, years never dull,
but toddler falls, or gull takes flight in fear.
I, like the rest, have come up here to live
the few remaining years of pointlessness
in pilfered comfort, trusting these years give
excuse, apply a lacquer of success
to those before. Up here, it's all veneer.

We recognise and label patterns: tide
and currents, seasons, moon and stars; we trace
their motions, actions, orbits, but we hide
the emptiness in which it all takes place.