"Is he dying?" the gull screeches over the wind, rising up with a sudden gust and spreading its black-tipped wings wide. The air is heavy with salt. A second gull hovers low, beady eyes cast down to the sandy grass underneath.
"No. Not even close," it answers, diving nearer to the bent figure below...
Walking, In circles,
trodding the worn out turf of yesterday
with the weary feet of today
that seem to inquire of me
with puzzled voices
'Why does this view look so familiar?'.
White waves beat against the jagged coastline with a rhythm as consistent as a heartbeat, and the two birds circle lower. They alight on the sand and hop closer, orange feet scratching hieroglyphics along the surface of the beach.
"How long has he been like this?" the first gull asks, fluttering into the air momentarily to avoid a spry of sand kicked up by the man's feet. The man glances up as the two birds dart around him, but soon returns his full attention to his weary plod. Circles.
Wavering. Tired of the same scene, but
frightened to see
scared to move a blistered foot across
an unbent blade of grass.
"He's always here," the second gull replies, bending its beak to smooth a stray feather. "I was here last summer, I watched him walk the same circle as I built my nest and raised my young. He is going nowhere."
"For what purpose does he walk?"
"He says he is looking for the road."
"The road is only a few meters away!"
"But he is afraid of finding the road. If he finds it he must follow it. They all do."
The gulls tilt their crested heads to watch the man pass a second time. And a third. And a fourth.
"It must be easier to walk in circles than to move along," the first gull says finally.
"And it is easier to stand along the beach than to dive into the water and fish, but there are hungry nests back at the cliff," the second gull replies, clacking its beak. The two birds lift into the air and leave the frustrated soul behind to steadily deepen his ditch.
Wondering. What do the birds see
as they spiral above me?
A lone man in a field of opportunity,
walking, ever walking,
along a ring
of his own dust.