The Tern Warden’s beach-hut by Paul Green



Paul Green lives on the edge of the Bowland Fells in Lancashire. He probably rolled down. His work has been published in various literary journals, most recently Orbis and Tears in the Fence. He has a background in nature conservation and a foreground in ecological poetry.

























You expect them to taper

                                       into respite but they refuse to exit

migration, falling off

                                       the slope of themselves, gathering

angles to scissor the air,

                                       are some trailing geometry forever

traversing an ocean’s coordinates,

                                       are the second before the sea’s

shattering, pipette-beaked bearers

                                       of blood, marram-pricked red.


How one bird hurdled an open door,

came to rest in a line of others within

the borderline of a poster on the wall.


She has woven rope into the shingle’s

joints, ploughed the sand in a clumsy tangent to return

the kettle’s whistle, only for it to soar from a tide-rattled

perch inside her shed. It shrills to a crooked faraway

framed inside a warm mug that clinks of stones

being arranged to circle the blink of tern eggs.

Above the window,

                                       the noon moon is another nucleus

roosting inside a shell,

                                       crowning devotion,

                                                                           refusing to land.


Paul Green