Beaks

a rocky tip on corner coast
a day to turn skin to toast
birds circle over my head
wishing i were dinner-dead
swooping they look big as eagles
but they are just well-fed seagulls
with big bent beaks sharp
devil-souls and devil-hearts
they swoop and dive again again
THEY WANT THEIR BEAKS INSIDE MY BRAIN
to explore it like a murky stew
and find the best meat to chew

their possessed cries are curses
as i shelter under a book of verses.
john betjeman, nineteen fifty three.
my head is saved by poetry.

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