Poetry Friday Bird Challenges

Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering is hosting Poetry Friday and has thrown out a bird-related poem challenge to anyone willing to come along!  Check out the links posted...there maybe a few bird poems today.  Diane Mayr has also challenged anyone interested to select an image from the Library of  Congress (LOC) archives that is bird related. 
So I've combined the two and this is it - I would, of course, search for a gull image - The poem is read from the box at the top to start then head on around the image clockwise.

Aboard a trawler. Selecting fish and cutting off heads. Only mackerel, whiting and occasional flounder or halibut are kept. Thrown from trough into ice-filled hold. Fish heads and non-marketable fish are thrown into sea above which hundreds of seagulls wait hungrily. Provincetown, Massachusetts
Contributor Names
Rosskam, Edwin, 1903-1985, photographer
Created / Published
1937 Summer.
Gluttonous Gulls

Gluttonous gulls 
can't help but call:
 "Come look, come see, 
come one, come all!
Look what I found - 
the heads of fish -
And boy, oh, boy, 
they look delish!"

"Share with you?
I don't think so.
You didn't catch 
these fish, you know."

"Neither did you,
so you'd better share!
Eating them all
is just not fair!"

"Fair to whom?
I found this lot!
And what did you?
I think 'twas naught!"

"Oh, fancy talk
from a common gull
Who's following boats
to snarf up cull!"

"Those fish heads
flying to the sea 
Should all belong
to me, me, me!"

"Oh, really now!
I think you're wrong;
These fish are mine,
so run along!"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"These gulls are sure
 a noisy bunch.
Their only goal:
to grab free lunch."

"If only they would
eat and share,
But seagulls aren't
that sweet and fair."

"Keep tossing heads
and no-name fishes,
Grant these gulls
their gluttonous wishes."

("I didn't sign up
for this fishing trip;
I thought this was
a cruise-type ship!")

"We'll head for shore
as sun is setting,
But they'll be back
for tomorrow's getting!"

by Donna JT Smith, 2018

Wish I'd gotten footage of the people "from away" feeding a gull on the railing beside their table - quite close to the sign saying "Do Not Feed the Gulls".  They were sharing a large platter of fries, letting him have free range of that plate.  She wasn't too pleased when he then decided to take her large piece of haddock off her plate.  She tried to shoo him away, but he came back and got the second piece of haddock, too.  They are brazen, and don't need to be fed.  They take whatever they want, whenever they want.  Nothing is safe unattended.  But if you ARE attending it and feed them, then they get even bolder - and you my friend are going to lose anything that looks as if it may have food in it even.  "Do Not Feed the Gulls"... really.  Visitors get to go home and eat in peace and quiet; we have to live with them later!


  1. Your chosen image and poem capture that squabbling squawking seagull chatter beautifully. I love the busyness of all those speech bubbles inserted in the photo. Such a fun poem and a great response to Christie's and Diane's challenges!

    1. Love to watch gulls following the fishing/lobster boats. When the cannery was in town it always had a big following!

  2. Donna, I like that you dipped into the research to find an interesting photo from the past to capture what I see at lunchtime at the beach. Gluttonous gulls is a great title for these beach scavengers. I tried to capture this for my summer gallery but to fit it in the sizing is off. When I reduce the size, the speech bubbles are too small. If you can come up with another way to size this (450 pixels works the best), I can share it out. Great job with this design format.

    1. I'll see what I can do. I still have the working draft active, and may be able to change font or something to make it work. But there is a lot of "poetry stuffing" on this page! May have to change the format.

  3. Such a cool presentation! I love the speech bubbles! I'm pleased you're taking part in both challenges.

    1. Challenges are so much fun - and birds especially interesting. I have my son's parrot at our house, so I'm surprised it just dawned on me that I could have written a poem for him!

  4. The speech bubbles show that constant chatter of the gulls. We've all learned fast when we go to the beach to hide any snacks we may have. They've snatched whole bags of chips, etc! Wonderfully clever, Donna!

    1. I've watched them approach beach-goers' set ups and start ransacking the place while the humans are in the surf - flying off with all manner of bags they think might hold something tasty!

  5. Donna this format is AWESOME! I have to give this a try. It looks so fun....and kinda challenging to get all the speech bubbles to fit with the words. I love playing with images like this. Very cool. I love the tug-of-war conversation over the fish. It's funny and natural. I can just tell you had fun with writing this. Well done.

    1. It was fun. As soon as I saw the image I knew it needed speech bubbles for the gulls - then the men started talking...

  6. Love the back and forth delicious dialogue. So fun!

    1. Thanks! I tend to talk/translate for animals most of the time, so this seemed called for with this image.

  7. "Gluttonous Gulls" is such fun, Donna. The two voices, the rhythm & the rhyme. I can see this
    being performed as spoken/acted poetry at a beach blast/ lobster roast/ summer soirée by the shore.

    1. Lol! It is performed ALL the time I think - just not by humans, so we just can’t totally translate it!

  8. Those gluttonous gulls made me laugh! I love how you combined the words with the speech bubbles on the image--perfect for this one.

    1. It did seem to be the appropriate format for this image!


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