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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Mermaid

Deep in the halls of the Ocean King
     The mermaid heard the call;
The seaweed swayed, the coral did ring,
     To herald the brewing squall.

Her life was uneventful
     At the bottom of the seas;
Her will had grown resentful
     Of her father's strict decrees.

She was starved for new, exciting sights
     And visions of the realm of men;
Spiting the King, on many nights
     She'd ranged far beyond her ken.

Thus, slipping from her silent home,
     She swam ever upward so high;
Finally piercing the watery dome,
     She beheld the furious sky.

Rain pelted the majestic ship
     That clove the raging waves;
Many sailors aboard her lost their grip
     And went plunging to their graves.

In the galley's imposing prow
     The prince alone did stand;
No storm so fierce could make him bow,
     Nor lose the hope of land.

Hungry winds howled as night grew dark,
     The sea like a ravenous beast;
Now ragged and weary was the barque,
     And still the storm increased.

Gale winds blew, the sails were rent,
     The waves crashed over the deck,
And finally the prince was sent
     Sprawling to the floor of the wreck.

Lightning came down, the mast gave groan,
     The ship was split in twain;
Overboard the prince was thrown,
     Was engulfed by the seas and the rain.

Why he was different, she could not say,
     From the others she'd let drown;
But she lifted him above the spray
     And swam him towards dry ground.

She marvelled at his human face,
     And her soul began to ache;
His form to her held untold grace,
     And she feared her heart would break.

Arriving at a far off beach,
     She laid him on the sand;
But, as a mermaid, could not breach
     The bounds of sea and land.

She laid a kiss upon his cheek
     And whispered her goodbye;
Then, with her spirits grown quite bleak,
     She left him with a sigh.

She never knew what became of him,
     Though she wondered about his fate;
But her memory never did grow dim
     Of the man she had saved that date.

And centuries passed in human years
     While the mermaid lived, longing, alone;
Shedding her silent mermaid tears
     For a love she had never known.

©Selina Fenech.

I commissioned this watercolor to accompany the poem two years ago from the amazing Australian fantasy artist, Selina Fenech. The original is very large, and shatteringly beautiful. Visit her site to see more of her luminous art. Visit my house to see the original :P

Poem ©Anniina Jokinen. Copyrighted with the Writers' Guild of America. (i.e. publish in any form without my permission, and I will sue). Hate to be like that, but at this day and age....

Tags: Anniina's Poetry

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Blogger Riykere said...

Was a good poem and the painting is pretty sweet aswell. The thunder and storm in the distance and such also fits the poem really well ^^ And looks cool also, lol. But yeah, it is a cool painting, and is well drawn and painted I think. :)

September 14, 2006 10:10 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Thanks Riy! I wish I had that kind of talent - seems I was somewhere else when that gift was being distributed. I've always felt a little robbed I wasn't born Michelangelo (;_;) Selina is amazing!

September 15, 2006 5:34 PM  
Blogger Riykere said...

Dont feel robbed, lol. I'm sure both wish they could do something they can't, lol. Everyone has something they wish they could do but cant for one reason or another, lol. You have many other talents anyways :) Well take care, ttyl ^^

September 15, 2006 8:51 PM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

September 16, 2006 1:01 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

' For I have known them all already, known them all -
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?'

I love T.S. Eliot. Thanks for reminding me, Mark :)

September 16, 2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger Mark A. said...

You’re welcome.

Eliot ruined mermaids for me. Now I see them as the reminders of life squandered. That Eliot...he must've been the life of the party.

September 17, 2006 2:46 AM  

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