Katherine Holmes
Unisex gull feathers

Near the prongs of the seaside everyone
impersonates the whitecaps and sails
incognito except for a prow insignia
they flap around at the shore gutters.

         The gulls all look more spiffy
         nonchalant grays and whites
         stringing the waves for fish
         gull girls camouflaged for fish.

The trouble is the crowd is too gusty
for introductions when the surf grazes
and a guy thinks about anchoring
at an island with a sopped sailoress.

         The gulls go up to someone
         sunny-mouthed and flighty.
         Half the time they get beamed
         with a toughguy right wing.
         And then they get a response.
         She looks out to sea to make sure
         she's what he really wants.

Gull girls outshouting the weather and
looking like any sailor who just wants

         to go out to sea.

Tenant garland

The white plaster house
         its vague imprint
having the spare handsomeness
         of a sand dollar that
cracked open has hidden surf-birds
         could be in Ireland
as well as Greece as Mexico
         as the Midwest
with its flattened mansard roof
         and the plain supposition:
shrubbery might sprawl like a vice

which causes a mother to crouch
         over the birth of seedlings
feeble beside the approach steps.
         The only flowers
they seem indigenous near grass
         as does her daughter
tipping a toddler watering can
         with the pretend of a tea set

really infusing the plaster façade
         with a peasant garland
even if men get skimpy with
         ground cover and promises.
The incline's knick-knack rack
         swan river daisy and raggedy
asters can subliminally affect
         the (non-trampling) tread.

A tricycle the melting pastel
         of grape Popsicle
has pedaled off from the
         clean cloud of transience
still sketchy as sand dollar petals
         rayed across hidden birds
the anywhere of almost and amicably
         three puzzling blossoms standing out.