valis2: Stone lion face (drawn default lion 3)
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I've been ruminating about fandom and fannish culture and this is what came out. This does not really have a connection to it but...that's what I've been thinking about lately.

Keep in mind that I am not a poet. I am a bad poet in poet's clothing. ~800 words. I have borrowed lines from The Odyssey.




Siren

Our island is small.

Littered with bones, bleached skin. Lovers past; the wind whistles through their skulls.

There is nowhere to go on this island.

Small and flat, nothing but grass, rust-brown stains of flowers. We are here, we have been here, we will be here. We sing, we pull sailors close, bring them from their ships to the shore, stumbling, mouths open.

We dream the same dream; we sing the same song. You have not heard before

such honey and milk.

Days meld into the next, the hazy light of winter becomes the spring. A ship and then another. Again the dead calm smothers them, holds them against the water, again our song, thrumming in our bones, violet and linen, we thread our needles with care and hook them through the chest to catch upon the breastbone. It takes so little. We promise them their future, what we know, we promise them such things, milk, wisdom, a crust of honey to melt on their tongue.

One of the sailors was pretty, light eyes, now rotting on the shore. Our harmonies build and fade, silence presses

pressing down

we are mute again.

His eyes were green, but they were brown, they were both at once, they were unsettling. One thing cannot be another. We sit in a circle, holding hands, waiting for the next ship. Our day reduces to sun and moon. Night

and morning.

The next ship will come and we must be ready.

His eyes were two things at once, green, brown, flowing together, impossible to separate.

We look at each other so we do not see the island, so small. A flower grows in the center, almost blood in its color, the yellow center accusatory.

Our hands grow weary and our eyes are dull. We are restless

we must sing.

The sun is high when we sense it. A ship, sped along by favorable winds. It takes all of our skill to still the wooden beast. Our voices come alive

honey

milk

the things we know.

We sing of the things in their marrow, in their blood. Our promises reverberate and fill the air. O you, most admirable, most glorious...

They are not listening, their ears bound with wax; their hands heft oars. They mean to escape us, to outdistance our song.

Except one.

He is bound to the mast. Dark brown eyes and a velvet heart,

and now I am singing, my sisters look frightened, I am singing to he who has only one color, I am singing

of my life on this island,

of my bone-strewn borders,

of the suffocation and the regret. My sisters' song dies in her mouths and blood runs down her chins.

I sing to him of what I know. There is no honey and milk; there is only death here. I do not know his future. I wish to swim in his blood, suck his marrow dry, lick his fingers until they are white and bleached like driftwood. I wish to hold him and sing my own song to him, a song with one voice, a long and lilting melody with my sharp tongue, I wish to tell him how my hands ache in the cold, how the rocky dirt will grow no trees. How the flowers taste of salt and the sea is my prison.

I will not sing of his home and his child. I will not sing of a crust of honey, or of milk. I am standing on the shore, my feet wet with salt water for the first time in a century, and I am pouring this into my voice, I am singing with my teeth and my throat and the inside of my eyelids, I am no longer violet and linen, I am filled with something new and not my sisters. I raise my voice and the island is becoming slippery, I fall to my knees, but I am still singing. The boat is sliding past now, nearly gone, and I see him straining at his bonds, desperately struggling. His eyes are full of thoughts and there are no flowers there. I burn for him then, burn to be on his ship, to know two things at once, to know two things separate and yet alive and blooming with yellow blossoms and not with dead men's bones. I call again to him, my mouth does not know the shape of this word but I say it, and he is shouting and writhing to be set free

as I say it again and again,

hope,

hope,

hope.
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valis2

March 2011

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