Back from the Deep

A word wrestles between twisted lips,
eyes are sunken like two wrecked ships
and her nose erupts from a festering face.

Dragging behind her a fisherman’s net,
hauntingly humming the Flower Duet,
she staggers along the pitch-black shore.

Studded with limpets and barnacles,
lashed with seaweed and pinned with corals,
she’s draped in a lacy wedding dress.

Buffeted by the power of spume,
she trips, stumbles and shrieks: ‘Groom!’
thrusts a salty finger into space.

Her putrid breath carries on a stiff sea breeze,
winds like a mist around storm-bent trees.
She returns to the sea with a screech and a groan,

terrified of what’s hidden behind the dunes –
the brilliant light of a harvest moon.

Kim M. Russell, 26th October 2018

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Out of Standard: Creature Feature  also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry

Isy welcomes us back to the Out of Standard and calls upon our highest poetic powers to go beyond the ordinary and conjure up something unexpected. She has shared with us a picture of Cut Face Cove, home to the most haunted shores in northern Minnesota.  Some claim ghosts of fishermen wail along to its lapping water. Others speak of sea monsters. Some still insist on werewolves.

Our job is to conjure up a monster that lives here and write a poem about it, following this recipe. Our monsters must:

  1. Be dressed in something unexpected.
  2. Have a favourite song to sooth their rage.
  3. Know only one word.
  4. Be very afraid of something commonplace.


46 thoughts on “Back from the Deep

  1. An old, smallish, fishing boat? We have plenty of them at the Galveston (Texas) docks. Still they go out regularly, early morning after early morning. No moonlight fishing for them. Very descriptive, Kim, I hope I was right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well trying to walk over the dunes can be a trial as the sand shift and engulfs you, so being from the sea it would seem strange and unsafe with the moon watching. It is probably best to meet her underwater when you can’t smell her breath! I quite enjoyed reading the poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such gorgeous imagery in this one, Kim! Especially like; “Her putrid breath carries on a stiff sea breeze,
    winds like a mist around storm-bent trees.” ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah! I somehow feel sorry for her. You have crafted such wonderful images — the detailing is so well done.
    Quite an ensemble: “Studded with limpets and barnacles,/lashed with seaweed and pinned with corals,/she’s draped in a lacy wedding dress.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this was a wonderful dive into the water, dark depths, with such a delightful creature!

    LOL – maybe that sounds funny for it – but you’ve done such a brilliant job creating this “monster” fleshing her into real – we can’t help but be drawn into the scene, the setting – and it feels like we’re on shore, or better for it yet, sitting next to a warming fire, listening to the cautionary sea-faring fables and tales, learning our lessons ….

    Great job of it Kim – this is a roaring magical story – and I must say, I have a fondness for this bewitching sea-bride who is lurching and spuming … gorgeous for the images you’ve conjured! I’d love to see this illustrated in watercolours – all blues, greens, streaks of silver etc. rocky shores, and frothy waves … oh, how wonderful words could bring me to this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. well perhaps you might just be struck to dabble and dibble 😉

        but I swear, I can just see this, birthing itself in such rich and saturated hues! I used to love oils – I love the thick richness for the layering etc. – never really tried my hand seriously at watercolours, but I love them – but I just can’t stop myself from seeing this – so cheers and BRAVA to the strength of your words …. this is just testament to the power of a well crafted and heartfelt story!

        (I’m still sinking in it Kim! I love it! )

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “Buffeted by the power of spume,
    she trips, stumbles and shrieks: ‘Groom!’
    thrusts a salty finger into space.”

    Wow! Mighty fine poetry! it gave me goosebumps. I could see it as the beginning or the end of a hair-raising novel. Or movie with its lovely music.

    Liked by 1 person

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