The Stony Thursday Book No. 11 (ed. John Liddy), Limerick, Ireland. October 2012.
Sometimes I enjoy the challenge of tackling a cliché subject, since you have to work extra hard to make it your own. "Siren" is one of those poems. It was later preserved in embossed metal for months on the streets of Limerick. No, I never saw that coming!
Tell me again about the storms
that cast sailors to your shore,
ten pound heavier now, in salt,
than they were when they set out.
Home knits bind like sea greens
'round coral limbs.
By their weave they'll be known
once tide has smoothed flesh from bone.
When fish have eaten the sweetest meats
from eye and ear and marrow
then wives will claim back their own.
Tell me again about your eyes,
the moon within that pulls with tides
mortals from their safe beds.
Their insides itch with longing
for timeless journeys on endless seas.
There, lobsters play in kelp
and fields of cod still school,
untouched by our rapacity.
Tell me how I came to be
one verse away from the edge of this world.
So close I can touch the wrinkle
where this domain folds into the next.
Here, all sound is sucked into octopus void,
that inky deep composers fear.
No shout will do, for open mouths
find only brine as comfort.
So tell me how it happened
and I will not even hear.