Terns climb and wheel incessantly
mewing a lament for lost chicks,
painting patterns on the cliff face
that artistic periwinkles
can study from their seashore studios
and copy in the sculptured shelters
in which they enclose themselves.
Each night the wind wields
nature’s scouring pad
and scrubs the cliff face clean
so that in the morning the terns
must undertake their task again.