The New Selkies

Mermaid 1542 Emblemata, Alciati

Over the side girls
That’s where you’ll find us
Below the waves
In the thick silence of Oceania

A slight pressure
Frigid waters
Set a heart on fire straight

Few intrusions beget us here
Violations to a minimum
We glide like mermaids
calling to no one
A seaweed diet,
fathoms of source protein

Sleek as selkies
Sonorously sedate
Moving with every ripple
Not a wrinkle on us

Over the side girls
Habitat undaunting
Figures of unison
Harbingers of grace

We tweak the imagination
High pitch of rattling
Not a day goes by
without purpose

Porcelain goddesses
we are not
Trappings of mercantile madness
Hardened steel from foundries
Reconfigured world
in the mist of time
We dwell where intent shifts
as protean mortalities
Spun over the edge

So over the side, I say
Away from street walking
Enough of the handcuffs
Let’s swim far away Magnificent woodcuts in Alciati’s book. You buy print of image:¬†


Sea Foam


Here we go, row matey
Break yer back
There’s a survivor now
Push forward hard against sweet currents
Jagged boys, bespangled
The girl, she shoots a Glock no doubt

Here we go, up against it
Endless horizons of loose shale
Stiff challenges
Count them up like plastic coin
Not good for anything but remembrance
Circulations alive, heart pumping
Born for the borrowing

Cast yer eye away from the truth of it
No sense in wailin’
Fickle is the day

Climb over piles of unattended matters
Don’t tell a soul
It’s not worth the time
Stand firm, trees block yer view now
Skittish children by the shore
Lookin’ for a game of chance
Settle the score some other time, then

Sing low, you Anglo Saxon bounder
Mettle is all in a word
Oysters and plagued misfortunes running against it
Unforgiving coastlines, homemade decks splinter up fast

They’re buyin’ up the town
While you hang onto a knapsack, a copper neck cuff
Pants that don’t ever quite fit

Strong voyagers of swift waters
We tell ourselves buoyant creatures all
Today’s not for the sinking
Neither tomorrow
For a hardy pack we make
At sunset