Tag Archives: mermaid

Gatlinburg By The Shore

I drive straight through until I get the sea, just stopping for gas and quick snacks.

Gatlinburg on the shore is what this town is, but I can see the endless waters here.

The threat of rain as I sit on the beach, the sky the color of an old, neglected tombstone.

The waters just as dark in color. But oceans separate the worlds, the planes of being.


I walk on the sand, heading away from gaudy, crass city. There are cigarette butts

and beer cans and plastic trash in the sand. Nothing sacred or beloved. No pride at all.

I walk on the sand, and maybe just in my imagination, I see a mermaid out in the water,

and I hear her tempting and mournful song, the only true psalm in praising loss.


I stand there, between kingdoms, wanting to leave this one forever, not knowing how.

I see, however real, a mermaid past the breaking waves, a dream of spirits and angels

that made all this world pure and treasured, before we made all of it all about ourselves.

Her song is mournful, a psalm to loss, and standing there, I wish for the will to go to her.

Still Morning

It’s 5:30 in the morning, and she rides her fixie in the park, not as cool as it should be in October, but still with diffuse and late coming soon, and the gossamer and damp fog.

Saturday morning, no hustle and bustle of the work-a-day world, it’s all hers, a queen of a still and unawakened kingdom, a queen of something being lost, to the world and to growing up.

She stops and stands with her bike by the little creek that runs through the park, clear and cold, but still with trash and cigarette butts discarded in it. The little creek that mesmerized her as a girl, that her mother told her to stay away from.

She didn’t bring her earbuds this morning, and she heard the wind rustling the leaves and the tall Cat Tails in the water, and heard the calls of the morning birds.

And she heard a mermaid sing. In the distance, in that thin and wet fog, she saw the shape of the siren in the first of the rising sun, combing her long, dark hair, and singing into the world.

She put herself back on her back, and slowly and silently pedaled her way to the mermaid, not even fifty feet ahead of her. The song clutched her heart, made it ache, made her long for something she could not name.

The song filled her ears, a high and sweet melody, sorrowful and beautiful.
The mermaid combed her hair and sang, and looked up at the sky, as all the stars were retreating.

She pedaled to the mermaid, but the mermaid finally saw her, and dived into the water, swimming to were the mouth of the creek met the lake, and was gone from site.

She stopped and stood again with her bike, seeing only ripples were the mermaid had swam away. In the back of her mind, a thought picked at her, that mermaids had never swam away when she was a child.

The morning was still again, and her heart ached, and she wiped away tears. The fog and the peace and what little cool there was was starting to lift and leave the waking world. The world awoke, even on a Saturday.

She looked into the water, where the mermaid had fled, until the ripples were still. Then she got back on her bike and rode back to her house, realizing everything would change and slip away.

Summer In Color

A young woman, my crush, walks barefoot.

We are in the woods behind the subdivision

we’re she’s lived for years, and I’ve just come to.

It the first warmth of spring, like the sun might stay,

and the flowers are budding, the grass sprouting,

and the leaves coming back, giving modesty to the trees.

She knows a secret place, on a trail she’s worn down

with her feet in hiking boots, or bare in sunny warmth,

the trail to her heart, still pure and free and so very wild.

Over a hill, and down into a grotto and a waterfall,

a deep bowl carved out by the endless waters,

a secret place to swim and baptize yourself in innocence.

She takes off her tank top and cut off shorts,

revealing the swimsuit she wears beneath.

It is blue and white, one piece, summer in color.

I take off my shirt, already wearing my trunks.

She takes my hand in hers and leads me to the water.

The sun is soft. The sky is blue. We are separate from the world.

Our breaths catch in the cold water, and we go under,

into the ancient waters, into the font of unspoiled time,

pure but with blood on it’s claws, free but sharp of tooth.

And we raise above and she is now a mermaid, a spirit

of the unfound places, the dream of which I run towards,

in the emptiness of my days, the darkness of my thoughts.

And she wraps her arms around me and we entwine,

and I stroke her cheek and we kiss, weightless and cold,

and the sun looks away in honor of the moment.

She carries me down to the endless waters,

the stars in the depths, the moon in her melancholy heart,

and this moment will make we with wonder and loss

forevermore. Forevermore.

A Mermaid Is Bright and Free

On the rock I watched the sea.

A mermaid is bright and free.

A mermaid has immortality.

Once, I was like the one on shore.

Saw every lover as paradise and whore.

I am not like those anymore.

In the light of the harvest moon.

I drew my own blood to write the rune.

I grew a mermaid’s tale, swam into the lagoon.

No more desire, I am one with all the ocean.

I have light and dreams and pure emotion.

Only to the depths and light do I give devotion.

On the rock, I dive into the crisp, clear water.

I am not a lover, I am the deep’s treasured daughter.

I am light and I am free, not a man’s profit to barter.

All To Loss

I see her, out in the water, the distant face
and long black hair of the mermaid.

She watches me, wary and curious,
not sure, and not coming closer.

Our eyes lock, and I smile for her,
but hers in return is ghostly.

Then she flips her tail, swims away,
back into the depths that are no shelter.

Our world makes it all go dark, all to loss,
and nothing will remain from our greed.

Her eyes, ice white and sharp, stay in my
mind, as the day begins, humanity marching on.

The Moment of Quiet Before The Race

The river, just outside the high school, was still not clean.
Not after all these years.
It roared and was cold and silver, but not clean at all.
It only looked like home.
It still soothes me, something like my mother’s voice,
my lost mother, lost to the arsenic and the greed of man,
that died so I may escape, walk on two feet, safe.
I can’t remember my mother’s voice, only feel it.
In the dead of night, when I am all alone, I can be me,
mermaid and water spirit, floating in the man made pool,
looking up through the glass ceiling at the soft and distant stars,
even as the chlorine burns my skin, makes it pale and flaky.
I am a natural in the water, a child of Neptune and free, so free.
Even in the harsh water I feel free, even using human legs to swim,
I am free and almost home and where I want to be.
I pretend I love the crowd back. I pretend to bask in their cheers.
Mother gone, and I among the humans, who wrecked home for me,
caused my mother to be lost in what was hers and should not have
been taken, would should have been sacred. They should have cared.
Cared about the world they ravage for pieces of paper and shiny metal.
The river roars and I am clear in my mind, before the swim meet,
before my only peace and comfort, something more than the cramped
bathtub I have in the home a live in, with a sympathetic human,
where I can at least have my tale out, they I am trapped, with nowhere to go.
The meet is about to began, and I get up, and walk up the hell, the cool air
turning hot in my lungs, and my heart racing from stress if not exertion.
The quiet is fading, and these noisy bastards will soon cancel out all the peace,
but that is yet to come, and it is still a cool spring morning, and I am alone with quiet.

Florida Rust

Rust colored hair whipping against a rust colored sky.

               The beach is just ahead. We’re almost there. Almost free.


               Cold grey water, the color of steel, endless out before us.

               Songs unheard for so long stir in our ears, our broken hearts.


               The spell is fading as we walk into the water, legs to tails.

               Dive into the water, swim back home, back to those we love.


               Let the ones who took us never find us. Let us be free forevermore.

               Our mother’s kingdom is right before us, but it will never be the same.


Mourn The Moon

In the cold, silver waters of the lagoon,

               dark and grey in the light of the moon,

               I look out, from the shrouded shore,

               for the proud mermaid, I do so adore.


               Hair as black as the shrouded deep,

               skin aquamarine, eyes dare not sleep,

               and  tail strong and glistening and green.

               I rapture in unreal found and now seen!


               I watch her, on a dark rock, looking to the sky.

               She comes to mourn the moon; I know not why.

               She looks to the stars, to those diamond glitters.

               She drinks of a cup, the poisons and so embitters.


               I drink of this cup, though not with her, on my own.

               I look to the lightless waters, to her weeping on a stone.

               She wants the sky and it’s wonders, those distant suns.

               I want her, to follow her, to be hers, as my heart runs.


               Both here until the morning comes, gold and distant.

               She looks at the bright sun coming, is gone in an instant.

               I stay until the light is firm in it’s glory, then wander on.

               Me and her, unhappy, restless, cursed by the dawn.        




Heaven’s Tattered Ways

I believed, when I was a girl, that a mermaid lived in the little grotto that formed in the bend of the dark, slow river that ran behind my house. The hill past the little back yard dropped severly, and was covered in verdant trees and mossy rocks and tall, wild grass. The little grotto was shaded and secret.

               I always swam there in the humid heat of an East Tennessee summer. The cold water made me shiver even in the hot season. I always sang to her, knowing that mermaids sang to people to keep them to come to them. I called out to her that I meant her no harm and I was her friend. She never came, though I always knew it was because she was shy.

               My bedroom was in the back of the house, my bed right against the window. We had no air conditioning so in summer I always slept with my window open, hoping for a cool breeze to ward off how stuffy and sticky the air felt. And in those summer months, as I drifted to sleep looking up at the sky full of stars and shepherded by Mother Moon, I’d talk to the mermaid, down in the little grotto. I could tell her anything, for she loved me and used her magic to protect me. I always knew she was there for me.


               I am a grown woman now. My daughter is asleep, curled up in a little ball of pink and bows on the couch, cartoons running mindlessly on the TV, though mercifully muted. She holds the stuffed mermaid I gave her close, her best and truest friend. I didn’t even realize what I was giving her when I bought it for her. A mermaid protected me; a mermaid would protect her.

               All the windows are open in the living room, but the air is still and the day is hot and even just sitting still on the couch I am sticky with sweat and finding it hard to breathe, like I need gills to breath this wet air.

               I decide to go for a walk.

               I leave my daughter sleeping and walk to the back of the house and down the wild, unkempt hill to the little grotto. It’s not as dark and hidden now, as blight and insects have killed several of the trees that shaded it. There are still patches of shade, and they are soothing.

               I walk to the very stone edge of the grotto and sit down. The stone is cool and I feel it on my skin beneath the seat of my jeans. I feel overwhelmed now, back in the secret place that nurtured me as a child, through all the hard times and wanting to escape and hiding everything inside and smiling brightly like a good girl should. This was my Eden, Neverland and Narnia, my place beyond the world.

               I sing. I sing to call the mermaid up from the dark cold waters. I sing to call back something I’ve lost and that was precious to me. The sense that there was magic in the world, and I could slip between the cracks into something wonderous, and that my mermaid really did watch out for me. That someone was watching out for me.


               “Over dark seas and endless days,

               over starless dark and devil’s ways,

               over lost moon and the hope of sunrays,

               to know at last heaven’s tattered ways.”


               I sing those words, that mantra that called her into my mind, that let me know she was there and that her magic kept me alive and safe when everything went all too shambles. I sing them and I don’t see her and my heart crushes into itself and I hang my head and my hands start to weep. After everything that’s happened not this too!

               I start to get up again, and walk back to the house, and I hope compose myself before my little girl wakes up because I will not let her so me cry, when something in the water catches my eye.

               It’s her! My mermaid! Her golden hair a halo and crown, her beautiful aquamarine face looking up from the depths. And she smiles at me.


Swimming Pool Time 2

I came for him, I loved him.

               But this house, this world,

               Is not my home.


               I came for him, I loved him.

               But I’m stuck in this place,

               And his kisses don’t heal me.


               I remember the warmth of him

               As I wrapped my tail around him

               In the blue warm Pacific.


               I remember salty kisses and laughter

               And a dream of being together forever

               In a city of angels.


               I left it all for him, and now I have nothing,

               And him holding me, kissing me, loving me,

               Can’t end my mourning for home.


               The deep blue waters, the crystalline kingdom,

               Palaces from time out of mind, my ancient kin,

               And now I have only this swimming pool.


               And I look up at a clear twilight sky, burning bright,

               And float in warm and harsh and heavy water,

               And almost feel weightless and free again.