September 27 - October 3, 2015: Issue 233

  Seagull Songs

These Australian poetesses all lived in Manly, Mosman and Pittwater (although we have found little tidbits of information that they have all visited and knew Pittwater) and in all these places you will find seagulls.

We have two species of endemic seagulls in Australia - the silver gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) also known simply as seagull, and the Pacific gull(Larus pacificus), a much larger gull than those you will see around Pittwater.

The photos we share here were taken at Whale Beach during this week.


The sun shone warm and bright on a small beach,
Where tiny wavelets curl'd upon the sand;
A flock of young gulls there in venture came
Upon their scarce-tried wings-a questing band!
And, fearless following, some tame young doves
Alighted with them, near the sunlit sea
Where first they met, and how they mates became,
I wonder'd, as I watch'd their flutt'ring glee!
The young gulls, swimming in their element.
The doves but wetting their pink feet nearby;
And, when they flutter'd to the trees above,
In turn, the seagulls follow'd them a'high!
Now, as time passed, the young birds bigger grew;
Gulls flew to sea, the doves stray'd on the sand.
But came, one day, a flock of alien gulls,
This onslaught scattering the timid band!
I often watch the doves, still on the beach
In an old friendly gull's protective care
He fiercely swoops with his strong, outspread wings,
On all such alien gulls as venture there!
FOR THE CHILDREN. (1934, September 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from 

Whither away on your agile wing?
To the cliffs where the ocean rollers fling
Their sparkling mantle of spume and spray,
And the wind blows cool at the dawn of day.
Whither away in your graceful flight,
So joyous and free in the blithe sunlight?
As ending you dip and swoop and wheel,
Your fluttering pinions are strong as steel.
Whither away on the Wind-God's track?
To halcyon isles, or in cyclone's wrack,
Thro Antarctic snows, or blinding heat,
You shall follow the Sea-King's bidding fleet!
SEAGULL. (1935, July 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2 Supplement: Women's Supplement. Retrieved from 

From 'Merry Me'; 
I wasn't born (said the Seventh Son)
Sucking a silver spoon,
But I saw black swans the other night
Flying across the moon,
At dusk, on a rising moon. 

I haven’t been lucky in love (he said),
Nor picked up a sixpence yet,
But I found the place where seagulls sleep
After the sun is set;
White drifts when the sun is set.

Though I've missed some concerts and comedies
And balls in the usual way,
I’ve come on a mother platypus
With her babies out at play,
Velvety twins at play.

I wasn't born (said the Seventh Son)
With a silver spoon to suck,
Nor bowled to church in a limousine, 
But my christening brought me luck,
There are several sorts of luck.
Dorothea MacKellar.
From "Merry Me":. (1933, February 16). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 58. Retrieved from 

The Open Sea  
From my window I can see, 
Where the sandhills dip, 
One far glimpse of open sea. 
Just a slender slip 
Curving like a crescent moon— 
Yet a greater prize 
Than the harbour garden-fair 
Spread beneath my eyes. 

Just below me swings the bay, 
Sings a sunny tune, 
But my heart is far away 
Out beyond the dune; 
Clearer far the seagulls’ cry 
And the breakers’ roar, 
Than the little waves beneath 
Lapping on the shore. 

For that strip of sapphire sea 
Set against the sky 
Far horizons means to me— 
And the ships go by 
Framed between the empty sky 
And the yellow sands, 
While my freed thoughts follow them 
Out to other lands. 

All its changes who can tell? 
I have seen it shine 
Like a jewel polished well, 
Hard and clear and fine; 
Then soft lilac—and again 
On another day 
Glimpsed it through a veil of rain, 
Shifting, drifting grey. 

When the livid waters flee, 
Flinching from the storm, 
From my window I can see, 
Standing safe and warm, 
How the white foam tosses high 
On the naked shore, 
And the breakers’ thunder grows 
To a battle-roar… 

Far and far I look—Ten miles? 
No, for yesterday 
Sure I saw the Blessed Isles 
Twenty worlds away. 
My blue moon of open sea, 
Is it little worth? 
At the least it gives to me 
Keys of all the earth
Dorothea MacKellar
Australian Poems You Ought to Know. (1925, October 24). The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), p. 15. Retrieved from

Seagull Pictures by A J Guesdon, 2015.