Late one night as I walked the shore,
There came to me whispers, whispers of lore,
And there, her tail sparkling amid moonlit foam,
Arose such a lady, of mermaid kingdom,
She sang to her sisters, sang of her lover,
With tears in her eyes, the voice of a mother,
His valor was great, and his gilded gills strong,
But to quarrel with men, was where he went wrong.
One day as he swam, he met with a ship,
Swollen boards, barnacles, iron bolts rusted,
A pirate ship, not to be trusted,
And captive on board, were children for Haiti,
Who cried for their homeland, their hearts feeling weighty.
Their African voices, and African songs,
The voice of a mother, for her child she longs,
The prince’s heart broke, and he wept for his cousins,
Bound for a life of back breaking strife,
He could not leave them and return to his wife.
“From whence have you came?” His voice through a crack,
“In Fanga and Dmindi our feet were entrapped,
Our hands roughly shackled, and lips cruelly slapped.
Oh Fanga of bananas sweet, where blue sky that river meets,
Oh Dmindi, great bronze walled city, now ransacked and devoid of pity.”
“My Family!” cried the Merman, “Just a day offshore you are!”
“If I could get you back . . . do you think you’ve traveled far?”
“We cannot see the sun, don’t know when our sorrow begun.”
“Wait”! One says, “They’ve fed us twice. Two days ago we were cast off.
Surely we could travel back, and if not, in Africa we’d rather rot,
Than in this sinking, stinking ***.”
So the sea prince called his creatures many, whales and dolphins,
Turtles and sharks, in the sun they made their marks.
The Pirates on board became perplexed!
The sea was soupy, their course upset!
What could they do, with this onset?!
The Captain snarled and shook his braids,
“Of no man or beast am I afraid!”
And on his rifle his callused hand laid,
“Let war on these creatures now be made!”
Every Pirate with his gun! The captain now was having fun!
Bullets hit the water, but very few found their marks,
For there was but little marks to see, except the tracks of swimming sharks,
The sailors groaned, what magic is this?
What has happened to the fish?
That they would around our boat amass, where do we go? Oh, alas!
The day grew later and so sign was seen,
The pace was kept, for the shore they were bound,
If this keeps up, we’ll run aground!
With half-fish leading, in the front he swam
He encouraged his army, and called to his friends
“Toward Cote’d Ivoire we are a sailing,
Do not let your hearts be failing.”
(No pirate could hear his voice, this was the half-man’s special choice)
“I shall take you not to a harbor, but to an island inhabited by few,
With food in abundance and canoe trees for you.”
That night as the stars rose, he sang them to sleep,
In their own mother tongue, no more did they weep.
For they were surrounded by magic of love,
Love of the keeper of the sea, a father himself.
But then in the morning, the morning of slaughter.
He let his tail slip above the bright water,
The Captain roared with guffaws of cruel laughter.
“To arms again my men!” He cried,
And on that day the Merman died,
For with his dark blue back exposed,
The Captain knew the enemy he loathed,
His aim was sharp, and his propellants deadly,
A shot rang out among the medley
Of orca chants, and dolphin chirps,
And at once clouds moved across the sun.
As purple blood stained the water, the Captain shouted “We have won!”
But the race toward land didn’t slow one knot,
The outcome wasn’t changed by a single shot.
The great fish knew that their command hadn’t died and the death of their king,
Though for sure they cried, His body was dead but his word was alive.
Two porpoises left to carry his body, away to a grave, to lay with his family
To the Castle of Coral their burden did bring, to sisters to mourn and his dirge to sing,
They wrapped his long body, laid him in a cave,
Cursed the old Captain, oh **** the cold Knave!
And brothers did leave to do that hard deed, and carry the prince’s wish out.
They swam in a swarm to the creaky old Roger,
In the night they did find her,
Her crew in a bother,
And climbed they the boards that held her together,
Soon she was taken, the pirates all killed
And prisoners unshackled, as the Merman had willed
(some mermen did die, in the scuffle preceding, but most wore protection,
Their brother’s fate heeding)
The sun did arise, in the brilliant sky,
A Hero’s day! The African’s cry.
The mermen guided the vessel to shore,
And of the Queen’s story there was little more,
Except that now she sings in the evenings,
As she raises her girls and little menlings,
No one will she find to replace her Prince,
No such lonely valor has she ever seen since.
So she sings to her sisters, under full moon waves
And calls to her cousins, on land that are slaves
That saviors will come, their own lives the cost
And vengeance will fall, happiness is not lost.
April 7th, 2012
Please forgive my unresearched work of fiction
No ethnocentrism implied, mermaids are the cousins of all humans