Mermaid Out Of Water 1

No matter how well you dance,
weighed down by gravity
you never have the chance
to wheel and turn like a bird
to float and flow
through space, through air,
as you would through water
were you a fish

Weighed down by gravity
no matter how well you dance
you can never do much more than
flutter and wade through the air
never have the chance
to wheel and turn
like a gull in the wind,
to float and flow and wheel and turn
as you would through water
were you a mermaid.

TENNYSON: The Mermaid


A beautiful painting of a mermaid at the Dorotheum Gallery in Prague.

Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb’d I would sing and say,
‘Who is it loves me? who loves not me?’
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall
Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold
Springing alone
With a shrill inner sound
Over the throne
In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.

Mer Jim

They even changed his mode of respiration
when they operated
restructuring for total adaptation
to aquatic life.

Mer Jim submerged
and when saturated moved
and his every motion
followed the dictates of the surgeon’s knife:
the sinuous locomotion,
the silence, justified the operation.

And they were all delighted by
the alteration,
especially his wife.