First published in July 2019

A heat-locked afternoon
rich yellow light
six poets sitting in the shade
of an ancient apple tree,
hats and sunglasses
the order of the day.

A poet steps up to the mic -
her reading interrupted
by a squadron of gulls
swooping, wheeling, pirouetting
in formation, their cries
drowning out her voice.

So it goes on, gulls versus
poets all afternoon. Poets
pause as gulls confiscate
the airspace, marking
their territory in an aerial display
to give the Red Arrows

a run for their money.