The Mermaid



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Part One


A city there was on the seashore, with gleaming towers that brushed the sky and rooftops that fought for space amongst themselves. In the distance green hills rolled lazily across the horizon.

Out to sea, woven into the weeds, shafts of sunlight skipped and played over coral like dolphins over the waves.

This beauty was lost on one who had become bored with it. The mermaid had risen early from her home on the ocean floor to watch the great city rouse itself from sleep and come alive under the sun. The familiar longing rose up inside her. She felt it must surely burst from her chest and carry her heart among the patchwork of distant homes.

The mermaid sighed quietly. The call of a gull overhead broke her reverie and brought her back from her daydreams with a sinking feeling. The shoal she lounged on seemed so common to her now, it held no dreams.

“I see the longing in your eyes,” said the gull. He knew the ways of the Sea Folk and that they were as fickle as their watery homeland. Desire and passion often slipped away as easily to them as the tides change. “I have seen many cities of men,” he continued. “There is nothing for you there. There is no place among men for one who above all else, would have her own way”.

The mermaid could only see the beauty and the strangeness of the city and understood only the emptiness of her own her. She did not think about he gull’s words, choosing instead to take offense – “I don’t look to the fancies tittering sea birds for advice,” she sneered with disdain. Casting a haughty look of indifference in his direction she slid into the warm, shallow water surrounding the shoal.

Despite her best efforts the gull’s words stayed with her all day and spoiled any small amusements she tried. So much did they gnaw at her that the mermaid resolved to prove him wrong and make a great change.

There are those among the Fair Folk who can change their appearance on a whim. Not all can however and for them, illusion and change must be had for a price. Mermaids fall into this latter category so on the following sunrise she sought help from another.

You would call this person a witch, though the Fair Folk would not. She lived in a cave by the shore where the sounds of waves made music on the rocks and silken ribbons of reflected light slid across the walls.

“I have come to make a bargain,” declared the mermaid as she pulled herself from the water to the rocky ledge at the mouth of the cave. The witch made no response but to tilt her head and jangle her bracelets. Unfazed, the mermaid continued “I wish to see the city and be amongst the humans there.”

The witch replied with a single word, “why?”

“Because I’m tired of the sea,” the mermaid replied as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Every day I hear music and noise from the city. I see the people rushing about. I see carts and flowers and beautiful clothing. I will be a part of it!” she ended with unintended ferocity.

“It’s a great bother to make such a change for something as trivial and passing as boredom,” the witch answered with assessing the mermaid with long practice.

For her part the mermaid dared not make such a reply as she had made to the gull. Only a fool would dare offend someone possessing the powers as the witch. “I will be a part of it!” the mermaid insisted.

Again, the witch answered with a single word, “alright”.





Raindrops falling on my head

telling me to go back to bed.

Raindrops pooling on the road

and listless to the drainpipe flowed.

Raindrops whisper of coming Spring

and tease the little birds to sing.

Still, the day is grey

and blank of sky,

that draws from many

a lethargic sigh.

Let’s count the days until we see the sun and the winter’s frozen grip is done!

Of Cats


Of Cats

Softly, silent paws glide like velvet on the floor.

A furtive look, with an impish dash to hide behind the door.

Midnight fur, eyes of green, and a tail with a crook

Skittering claws, a springing leap –

Get down cat! You aren’t a book!


Denied his throne he slinks away

Oh cruel injustice will it never end?

Inside his cave he I stroke his ears

Because after all, we’re friends.


Summer isn’t really my favourite

autmn marsh

I confess that I don’t particularly care for summer. I don’t like the crowds that descent in hoards over the city and every beauty spot like hungry locusts. The noisy screams of over-heated and over-tired children, dodging street festivals crammed full of people reeking of Hawaiian Tropic, perspiration, and booze – I intensely dislike all of it.

For some inexplicable reason we are expected to latch on to the sweaty, drunken teat of SUMMER and stuff as much activity into it as possible. We must chase sun burns and sandal blisters in the manic pursuit of all the activities that everyone else tells us we must enjoy.

I’m waiting for the smell of cool air and the feeling of leaves underfoot. For the warm feeling of soft stockings tucked inside sturdy boots. I’m waiting for my energy to be useful to me once again instead of being suffocated out and siphoned off by heavy humidity just to mingle with the yellow vapors of smog.

I want mist rising off of the water and the rough-hewn beauty of the landscape as it slips closer to its annual rest.

A Song


Spadina House, for any non-Torontonians.


Greetings from beyond the grave (it feels like) to anyone who might be listening. I’m still writing here in the fair city of hyper-intelligent trash pandas who, no doubt, will be our new overlords soon. I can’t even be mad at them. They have such sweet little faces.

Anyways, here’s another crappy bit of writing that I’m going to inflict on you all. Unless the raccoons get me first.

A Song

Beneath the grime and roadside slime

beats the heart of old. 

Under the muck, 

all kinds of yuck

Waits the heart of gold.


Untouched by dark remains a spark

Inside, the heart beats on. 

Below the road,

a common load,

It listens, getting strong. 


I hope the light keeps growing bright

the night has been too long. 

Rise, fair sun! The night is done!

Awake and hear my song. 


The mist slipped in and and settled down to wait. It sleeps in water droplets on my hair and sweeps like a whisper over my limbs. The shadows hang long inside it and stretch out, ready to stay.

The city now swallowed up in a new set piece. Its normal goings on are hidden by one of nature’s little quirks, maybe to remind us of little it takes to change us humans and our things into something unrecognizable to ourselves.

Sound calls out but nothing answers, muffled by the white tendrils that have rolled in like ripples from the ocean. The mist hangs on in gentle captivity, like a friend who embraces just a little too tightly but means well.

The sun may yet burst through with determined violence, insisting on banishing the fairy web back to the world of children’s picture books. Until then, I shall embrace the water and pretend that there is something else afoot.