Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Selkie

Has she bewitched you?
She never set out to do it.
She came up from the sea to dance upon the rocks with her sisters
--wet gleaming smooth grace against hard gray stones--
Your eyes and hopeful nature did the rest.

"She would never say where she came from"
You would die there,
So you cannot go--
While she must always return,
Dying in her own way,
Leaving the antique ring upon the table.

There is darkness,
And there is cold,
And some become beautiful there.
Play your fiddle, fool,
She will come.
She is like no other you will ever know--
More enchanted,
More dangerous,
And neither by choice.

On the day when you cannot find her--
When the stony sands mock your panic with their resolute vacancy,
Will you believe that she did not love you?
She will have loved you
Until she could bear it no more.

The weakness will be yours,
And she knows it better, and sooner, than you do.
She is a beauty who will change, and see your face change, too.
She can surface, but the depths reclaim her.
She is human, in your arms,
But she is both more and less than that in her deepest nature.
You will lose each other and suffer for it;
Only the stones, in their hard indifference,
Will endure.

_________

The song "Ruby Tuesday", from which I have quoted a line above, was written by Keith Richards.

sel·kie also sil·kie (s l k ). n. A creature or spirit in Scottish and Irish folklore that has the form of a seal but can also assume human form. 

Many thanks to my blogger friend Lydia, for inspiring me this morning with this post.

 

21 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have always loved the legend of the selkie. You have added the emotional dimension which was always lacking from the tale - particularly her ill-fated love for the fisherman.
This is haunting and intense.

nene said...

Thank you for a a lovely moment of emotional reverie. Love the last line, "Only the stones, in their hard indifference, will endure".

Without seeming perverse but appreciating a vision of fantasy, your pics, especially the first one, also took me into a daydream of sorts.

nene said...

Had to follow up with this observation after listening to Ruby Tuesday by Melanie, I had to ask if when listening to her voice, intonations, vibrato and use of crescendo, does she not sound like a spiritual transmission from an earlier time frame into Adele in the present?
'just ask'n'.

Laurie Kolp said...

Beautiful. I especially like:

When the stony sands mock your panic with their resolute vacancy

blueoran said...

Shay, we're on the same wavelength today, albeit on opposite ends of the gender spectrum ... A sea-lover can only be exactly like her element, always "more and less" than us. As substantial as embracing waves, deeper than most of our our hearts dare to go. Love the antique ring left on the table - the old marriage of earth and sea. And try to talk sense to someone who's gotten a splash of the homeless sea in their heart. Try. - Brendan

Marion said...

Awesome and riveting. Fabulous poem and excellent song! xox

hedgewitch said...

'you would die there/so you cannot go' but not going is also a kind of death. You manage to present both sides of a pain wracked story, and only the stones get the blame. Your eye is as ever illumined by the heart. The saddest fairytale I ever read is Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid--pre-Disneyfied, but I believe in your even sadder ending much more.

Daryl said...

Oh Shay you have the most eloquent dream inspired way of weaving spells through poetry

Brian Miller said...

this is lovely...and heavy with want, played til my fingers bled in waiting...and sad in that only the rocks will endure....you spin a fine tale...enchanting...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful and sad, as love so often is for some of us. I loved and felt every line.

chromapoesy.com said...

On the day when you cannot find her--
When the stony sands mock your panic with their resolute vacancy,

and how you tie it back again with:

Only the stones, in their hard indifference,
Will endure.

Makes the piece all the more rending. I agree you've brought the emotional core to the myth and it is all the richer for it.

Fred said...

An excellent merger of myth and your own voice. Great job here, loved the write. thanks

Lydia said...

Oh, Shay, this is spectacular writing. A real love poem! When you commented at my post (thanks for the nod, btw) that you had been inspired I wanted to come see right away. But it has been a hectic day, and now it is over and reading this beautiful poem has set the sails for my evening. I love Selkies so much, too.

Loved it all, but this jumped out:
She is like no other you will ever know--
More enchanted,
More dangerous,
And neither by choice.



word veri: suballi. Sounds like a lovely name for a Selkie!

HermanTurnip said...

Karin and I just finished watching the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. In my mind I was picturing mermaids as I read your poem. For some reason it fit so well!

Lynn said...

That's cool, FB.

myheartslovesongs said...

breathtaking... heartbreaking... i didn't know Melanie had recorded "Ruby Tuesday" ~ who i always thought was one smart cookie! {Ruby, not Melanie}

Jannie Funster said...

You always introduce us to the most interesting names in your poems, Shay.

Was talking to Mom yesterday, how erosion has claimed so much and will continue to. Good Book says heaven will endure, tho -- so I'm banking on that. Or at least hopeful as in the hope of your wonderful line Love your hope, in your "eyes..... and hopeful nature."

Love is powerful indeed. Be so so so great if it could come pain-free! The Wise Ones say it will one day!

xoxo

Mama Zen said...

"Dying in her own way,
Leaving the antique ring upon the table."

There's something so gripping in that image. Love this, Shay.

Dianne said...

I love the images this plants in my mind's eye
beautiful and powerful and a bit haunting
I love the song Ruby Tuesday and I think Melanie has a wonderful voice

me said...

Shay, I am pretty much speechless. This piece is unbelievable. I am in awe of your capture of the Selkie. You make me want to read up on Irish lore.

arbitrarymeaning.blogspot.com

Lolamouse said...

Beautiful and sad. Always loved the song Ruby Tuesday.