Off they ran, towards the red city light.
Our dear gold fish-girl was more froze than norm!
I cannot be mistaken, oh! I’ve sworn!
They go to seek their princes in the night!
She raised her copp’ry hands to copp’ry hair,
Released her curls. I must take urgent haste,
These few hours of love must ne’er go to waste!
I’ll swim along the shore, to meet them there.
And so with leap of faith, our Mermaid swept
Her scaly frame to foamy waves below.
She tracked the silver voices on the deck,
Till moved beyond the sea, to town-ward go.
And as she heaved herself to Danish land,
The pain right through her legs, she vowed to stand.
Here’s three girls. The warm night has come, but they
Are watching still. ‘So sad to think that she
Did ne’er find her love, or live happily.’
‘It’s a fairytale.’ ‘Perhaps we should stay.’
They have brown arms and sparkling wrists. They wear
Pink on their cheeks and flowers in their hair.
‘We should keep her company. Just a while.’
‘Silly Rose.’ ‘You’d stop at nothing for a smile.’
Their words were quiet; Mermaid strove to hear.
(The wind was light, the air was balmy mild.)
‘The place is free for girls. It will be piled
With amoral men, our heavy minds to clear.’
‘Let’s not dilly-dally.’ ‘No more words to mince!’
Their laughs were bright. ‘We’re sure to find our prince.’
Here’s a little girl. She wears red shoes.
The Mermaid sees: oh, scarlet treats of freedom!
‘Mummy, take a photo.’ She is beaming.
An artist – ‘Aye, this sculpture is my muse.’
Here’s a family of three; ‘Don’t, don’t slip.’
‘You go. Your father has a troubled hip.’
Great big eyes – they crawl on her,
Eyes with many feet, eyes with claws and fur.
Nobody must see – nobody must see me look.
Nobody can know – no-one cares what land-men took.
Stuck between two bitter seas, I am.
And all I want is on the brown green land.
To live and love, with him who once was true –
His absence daily cuts me through and through.
Dark is the night over Langelinie.
A black velvet nightcoat, all silk and worn.
Under the starlight, the Mermaid shifts form,
And slips from her rock into the cold sea.
Her limbs are cool and supple as the flow,
Rich and handsome as a dolphin’s back, bent
By the divine blacksmith. The water’s fresh,
But the seas are empty. As morning dawns
White gold and green through the wat’ry window,
Back she must crawl, a waif o’er the vast blue.
Still, p’raps today, somewhere mid the throng
At last her evanescent love would show.
The blue Danish harbour did sparkle so,
That morn as the Mermaid took her hard seat.
Out on Langelinie in the fierce heat,
The bronzed little fish-girl dullish did glow.
They came at first light, with cameras and such.
She heard the great clamour of feet, and oh!
Here they would come, the red sun bright and low,
English, Americans, Chinese, the Dutch.
They crowded like bees round her grey rock,
A gaggle of geese, a murmur, a flock.
And the Mermaid would sit, faced t’wards the shore,
Hour after long hour. She thought – such a snore
Is this life I must lead in search of my heart,
Who’s ne’er in this crowd. All’s hopeless and dark!
you amber girl,
i would you’d know those spells you fling
o’er feeble hearts
like a silver lioness
glimmers in the yellow day you are
his lofty perch is cold above that noise
of metal mouths that chomp in smokéd glee
t’wards hidden goals. the buzzard’s yellow eyes
untuned to see the plights of men. he feels their sour smoke, their rubbered throws all thudd’ring
up his lamp like hands that scramble rope to
cliff tops and a colony. He cares not;
his eyes like twitchy buttons, the men below are simply shapes. the rusty traffic bird
is still as rock, head swivels t’wards the field.
there will be perhaps a mouse, a mole—
tucked in the ground. I wonder, when windows glow
Is it a brighter light than those poor rodent eyes?
Great sharp bird, the grassy groves behold you in your height.
He is a wild black shape against the sky,
A steady fan in confidence, a sky-red blush.
it is writ, the lily
in albescent dress
eases ‘neath the Lord’s
the divine diligence
o’er the leaf;
white curves of pointed silk
perfuming the heath.
those honeyed things,
those satin cones;
are they not as small
as shoes? as small as bones?
Clarissa walked and
London changed like leaves.
the tawny sheets
precious golden hours.
It was not her shoes
that picked the flowers.
A long satin tongue.
Soft black hair,
And brown skin.
In the beer
Like flies across a gold lake,
Bugs in amber.
Then there was nothing,
But your eyes
And my crooked feet
Floats on rainbow lights
And all I feel is you.