The Sea-Girl’s Undertows


Image result for old painting mermaid

One naked, pink-shell ear is his

Words made of spice and rumbling

He sounds like hills she’s never seen

Conifer fires, fragrant humming

She gleans dark loam from his smile

Far from the sand and rocks and waves

Warmth drawing her from whitecaps

An effervescent nature stayed

Salt glitters on cheeks, on eyelids

As pale and slight as he is hearty

Her kelp hair like matted feathers

Eyes blue, bewitched and longing

She listens although cracks spider

Over her lips and back and hair

Heart burning out of the water

That kept her sleek and fair

And she listens to him still

After he has journeyed on

One pink-shell ear turned white

Sowing undertows of want

~

Elizabeth Cook, 2018

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Of flowers past


Image result for summer wildflowers painting

Where light my darling coming

Through the white Queen’s lace and fetters

I see her love of shoot and sprig

Of loosestrife even as asters

Her mouth a bow of girlish charm

And her hands everywhere trailing

So she was many summers past

And so now I briefly see her

Better cast in my adoration

Than in all the sun’s rayed splendour

~

Elizabeth Cook, 2017

Image from Karen Margulis

Parallel Outlet: 7


“The low divides we dare not cross,

all that we’ve loved, all that we’ve lost…”

So begins the poem Divides by Eric M. Vogt, a piece that I return to read now and then. In short and seamless lines any manner of things loved and lost are conjured up for the reader, and although it is Valentine’s Day, loss has long been a poetic side to love.

There are surely as many beautiful poems of loss as there are of love, and the stories that compel us almost never contain love alone. Those stories contain uncertainty, regret, transience, and the irrevocable loss itself, where sadness serves as a tribute and brings us to question endings.

What is an ending? Fatigue, alienation, death?

“Love is a many splendoured thing”, and the ending of loves throughout history has been a great mover of men, cities, and countries. Divides brought all this and more to mind. And it ends with a tantalizing reference to memory, the only place where things that have ended may survive.