Bereft on the sand
he pleads for the tide to return
soothe his wounds, take him away
he calls to the moon
but the sea steals his words.
Bared to the wind, face scored by storms
his hair lifts and strays like listless Sargassum
the sea hisses retreat.
His hands, barnacled, once caressed those lithe-limbed maids
singing in the surge and the caverns.
But the waves rose up into mighty walls, and he
caught between crest, current and squalls
and dazzling faces of sirens rising, with no fear of falling
they surfed the sharp edge of the swell
and dragged him down.
In their caves they fought over him,
scarred him with scales then swam away.
He’d believed in mermaids,
believed in their songs of carousing love,
but they’d shouted, demanded,
tricked him, bewitched him
left him stranded struck by the moon
yet still he yearns for them
pleads for the tide to take him back in.