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Nov 2021
Tell me, truly, are you singing?
Say, are you the one who sings?
Or was that the reeds a-ringing
Rung by Zephyr’s mayfly wings?

Once upon a quiet evening by a still and silent water
was Ioreth, who was singing, as they gazed upon the sky
who was neither flesh nor fairy, who was neither son nor daughter,
who, while all of use were merry, went away without goodbye.
Our Ioreth sat there singing to the cool and quiet sky.

List you well, for they have started; can you hear Ioreth singing?
They were nearly still departed, and their voice is still nearby.
Where the dew clings to the rushes, and the reeds where dew is clinging
look o’er still and silent gushes, there they’re singing to the sky.
They were flighty; we were foolish; we remain; their voice will fly.

Tell me, truly, were you singing?
Say that lovely voice was yours!
Or was that the breeze a-bringing
Melodies from other shores?

When Ioreth, in their weeping, noticed ripples on the river,
then the one, no longer sleeping, rose to greet them and to try
to ascertain if it truly was Ioreth, music-giver,
who was quietly and cooly singing to the silent sky.
Such a one, below them peeping, spoke and sang for a reply.

So Ioreth, slightly pensive, leaning like the rushes weary,
sang with language quite defensive that they could be heard to sing,
but it was a night of singing, and the rest of us were merry,
or it could have been the wind that could be heard, for it was spring;
Sang with language quite extensive that it could be anything.

Tell me, truly, were you singing?
Will you sing for me right here?
I heard winds your voice a-stringing
And I want to have it near!

So the one list to their singing, with damp arms upon the shore,
and Ioreth, forward leaning, sang to her and to the sky.
Not a star was watching o’er them; they had all gone on before
when she reached out to embrace them and to wipe their cold face dry.
And Ioreth, pity gleaning, let the one list to them cry.

Tell me, truly, were you singing?
I thought Heaven sang to me!
I will swim back home a-bringing
Your enchanting melody!

When the one embraced them hither, (they could not be saved by praying)
then Ioreth’s voice did wither, though they did a screaming try.
And the one took them down with her, where the rushes all are swaying;
We were far away and merry; we did not list to their cry
And Ioreth’s voice, reminder that we never truly die,

Ioreth’s voice will sing there

‘Til the rest of us reply.
Note: "Ioreth" is pronounced /ˌaˈjɔːɾɜθ/. I wrote this in 2016 as part of my debut (literally; I published it on my 18th birthday) collection of writing, Well-Arranged Inkstains. The version in the book uses the neopronoun set ne/nem/nir/nirs/nemself, the pronouns I was using at the time; this version, no less non-binary, uses singular they, my current set of pronouns. No particular agenda there. I just wanted a poem to exist that used my pronouns; the rest is dreamy nonsense. A cautionary tale of what happens when outcasts are left unsupervised by moving bodies of water and tall grass.
Henrie Diosa
Written by
Henrie Diosa  22/Non-binary/Marikina
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