It was a raging sea-magic kind of day,
with thunder clouds and wind-whipped waves
that made us mermaids forget salty witches.
Oblivious to consequence, caught up in the rumpus,
we anticipated handsome seamen
snatched by squalls from a schooner’s deck,
combed out the tangles in our waist-length hair
and spread our glistening fish-tails on a rock.
We were naïve and blissfully unaware
of the magnitude of the sea witch’s envy;
green as seaweed, she whirled into a frenzy,
her magic an undercurrent that peaked
with the storm and flipped us into the sea.
We gulped the brine, it coursed through our gills,
made legs and feet of our tantalising tails.
Inverted now, we kicked and dived,
a coral-coloured shimmering shoal of sisters,
with no honeyed voices to charm sailors.
We no longer haunt the rocky shores
or admire our hair in seashell mirrors;
we must avoid all human men,
their harpoons and their trammel nets,
sideshows and aquariums, oceanic oddities,
fish out of water to the salty end.
Kim M. Russell, 25th October 2019
My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: Take a chance and step into the mythical realm , also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry and linked again in 2020 to earthweal open link weekend
This Friday, Sanaa ask us to step into the realm of myths and legends, stories that fascinate and inspire us to create songs, poetry and art. She asks us to think about what it is that draws us to them and shares two poems: ‘Medusa’ by Clark Ashton Smith and ‘How the Raven Became Black’ by John Godfrey Saxe.
The challenge is to find a piece of art and create our own poetic mythology around it.