Observing a Gull

Author’s note: On the Oregon Coast, about an hour west of my home, is a wonderful little artist’s village called Cannon Beach. The beach is vast and rambling and features an amazing natural wonder called Haystack Rock. Its name explains its shape, but you must see it to understand its incredible mass.

Just north along the coast lies Ecola State Park, where you will find a beautiful meadow hugging the very top edge of a towering ocean cliff. From this lofty viewpoint you look over the vast ocean, waves crashing below you.

The cliffs, with slivers of white beach at their feet, stretch left and right as far as you can see – broken occasionally by a widened expanse of sand. To the left, as you face the Pacific Ocean, tucked into just such a widened expanse, is the village of Cannon Beach. To your right is Indian Beach, mildly famous as the setting for the film, Point Break, which starred Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze.

This cliff-top meadow’s vista is absolutely breathtaking — soul-stirring. It served as the inspiration for “Observing a Gull”.


Observing a Gull


I stand at land’s end,
atop a soaring precipice
jutting into the Pacific,

observing a gull suspended in flight,
aloft on the sea breeze
billowing up the cliff.

I’m mesmerized!

Stretching before me,
undulating azure blue,
falling away
over earth’s edge
into forever.

Unfurling below,
a white ribbon of sand,
fragile, pristine, a breath
between eternal sea
and towering rock facades,
flanking left and right
in sweeping panorama.

A breeze freshens,
tosses my hair.
I shudder,
bracing against vertigo,
swept up in a feeling.

no longer earthbound,

my soul takes wing.

Rob Kistner © 2007

15 thoughts on “Observing a Gull”

  1. This was lovely, Rob- both your description of Cannon Beach and your poem. I felt like I was flying as well… your words so effortless…
    We have many gulls here in FL but one of the most fascinating birds I like to watch are the pelicans! They seem so ungainly but get a good current going and they seem like they could go on forever!

  2. Nathalie / Regina –

    Thank you both!

    And you are most welcome Nathalie.  I enjoyed your site — your poem for the wings prompt was spellbinding.

    The world of oceans is full of gulls, and they get some bad publicity at times. But this day, this gull — sparked a little magic for me.

    Ah yes Regina — pelicans can be cool to observe. I used to have an office in Naples, Fla. I loved Naples!

    Again, thanks to each of you.

    –and so it goes–

  3. Thank you Gautami, Patois — the experience of that day, about which I write in this poem, still resides in my soul.

    What the poem does not say is what brought me to that cliff top that day. But it was fate that touched my life.

    If you are ever in this part of the world, in Oregon, you should go to this place — out to the edge of the overlook. It will touch you. It is glorious.

    –and so it goes–

  4. you evoke a terrific sense of place and spirit with your words. I want to be there and be soul-stirred! i found your whole post very uplifting, which is definitely what i needed today – thanks!

  5. Beautiful! I liked your description of the Cannon Beach area, as well.
    I’ve been to Cannon Beach many times. This poem brings back happy memories of staying at beach houses on the Oregon Coast. I loved the experience of looking down on gulls flying.

  6. Rena –

    Thank you for your kind words. I certainly understand your fond memories. May you have many more.

    I love the Pacific Northwest coast! It holds my soul.

    –and so it goes–

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