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Orkney boasts a treacherous sea.

Orkney's Silkies

Water_witch-2by Abigael05 Nov 2013

Orkney’s sea is a fickle benefactor
One moment glass-like and quiet - next
the might of it’s brine lashes the rocky coast.
Menacing cliffs give rise to wild screams
from caves that gape open-mouthed.
Eerie sculptures vent demented wails
that echo around a desolate shore
in the teeth of merciless wind.

Wind and wave throw up spume,
it’s wet sword thrusts blow after blow,
storms reign, relentlessly,
break the backs of boats, leave them flotsam
and jetsam, for the local’s to collect.
Orkney’s history is strewn with wrecks,
it boasts the worlds darkest, most forbidding seas.

Seas that claim a surfeit of liquidated lives –
Sucked under by foundering vessels
swirled into whirlpools, snatched by rip tides.
One last wave to infinite stars
and the kiss of salt, fills them brim-full of death
a savage sea claims another precious life.

Life teems in these icy cold waters.
long lost spirits become shape-shifters.
Here playful Silkies swim and chase,
inhabit soft seal-skin, gaze wistfully
from limpid sea-anemone eyes,
their webbed feet, and hands yearn
to dance entranced by memories of dry land.

Land calls to the Silkies, silvered
incandescence from a full moon,
is their amphetamine, desire becomes intense.
A Silkie sheds her skin, on a whim,
but takes extreme care to cover and conceal it.
If a man finds her skin a Silkie must stay,
become his obedient, loving wife,
she cannot return to her aquatic life
Still, she marvels at the magical night.

Night hides her long jet-black hair,
tossed by tempest, and teased into curls.
Lit by moonlight her pale skin glows,
lights subtle whorls, water marks,
painted by whirlpools in the sea.
Her limpid eyes sparkle mysteriously,
like some branch of stars
we see twinkle in a distant galaxy,
they mirror her joy in a naked body,
shaped for admiration and delight.

Delight expressed in a sensuous dance,
Silkies love to dance, wild and unadorned,
blissful feet softly kiss the dewy turf,
tinkle on the wind, swirl with the leaves,
their dance is love’s communion with the earth.
They pay homage to the moon, whose pale face
beams, showers them with silver dreams .

Dreams that delight, until flying lightning
spurs their feet to slip downstream,
and ride the running rivulets of water
now coloured, white-gold. Carefully silkies,
retrieve their seal-skins, - and vanish.

Dawn breaks to find them frolicking,
sun-lit, still dancing in a golden ocean.