THE FORSAKEN MERMAID

mermaid-aberporth

My photograph was taken in Aberporth, Ceredigion, on the West Coast of Wales, facing towards Cardigan Bay and the Irish Sea

THE FORSAKEN MERMAID

She emanates wistfulness
melancholy, sorrow
bound to her rock
out of sight of her sea.
Andromeda’s prison
awaiting her Perseus.

 

She thinks of the sea,
beseeching the ocean,
to roll in and take her
to wash her away
to be lost in the waves
to swirl with the kelp
in that pellucid world
in those welcoming depths
to join the white horses
to laze in the rock pools
bask on the corals
where once were her friends

 

No coteries here
no sisters, no mermen,
no one to favour her –
offspring or lovers.
That whirlpool which bred her
the spray which had bathed her
sequestrated and gone now
no longer her milieu.

 

Is this always and ever
is this life’s stricture
retribution for what?
For loving her kingdom
her aquatic birthright?
Or for being in form
not fish, fowl nor fiend?

 

For living a life
half tide-borne,
half earth-child,
hermaphrodite, epicene,
ambiguous, undefined,
a shadowy being,
crippled, malformed?

 

Her joy now –
the sunlight,
the breeze
and the dew
the song of the seagull
the far sigh of the sea.

 

Only these now remind her
of when she was free.

 

burne-jones-perseusandromeda

‘Perseus and Andromeda’ by Edward Burne-Jones, c.1876

In Greek mythology, Andromeda is the daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus and his wife Cassiopeia. When Cassiopeia’s hubris leads her to boast that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon sends a sea monster,Cetus, to ravage Aethiopia as divine punishment.   Andromeda is stripped and chained naked to a rock as a sacrifice to sate the monster, but is saved from death by Perseus.    [ Wikipedia ]

 

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