Sea Horses


100 poems/52 weeks challenge’ 2018

The Rising Tide by Jason deCaires Taylor

Prompt: “The last river on earth writes a poem. What does it say?”

I met a man once,
after my mother snuck me out
and lapsed across time and space
to become a dark space
of cloudless sky.

He told me
there was a river inside his head
‘If you could talk to her?’
and so I ate his mind
like those before him,
their memories my bedrock
I, an odyssey.

The sky is purple through his eyes today
and an another smell his child’s crayons
I tell them to sleep,
I stir them like honey in warm water
but they come up like adolescent rocks
trembling across the pond
as if thrown away by teenagers.

I tell them to sleep,
the world falls in my lap like freshly-washed clothes
and it is my last job
to open a cellar of salt
and fold them under its whirlpool.

The last man,
buoyant by all the salt of the sea
that sits like stones under eyelashes,
stirs for the last time
and asks me of ‘what of your end?’
and I fish some babble
and wave
‘Oh, but the end is me.’

            Author Notes: Yes, I can make puns.

In the sculptures, the head of the horses are replaced by oil pumps to critique pollution. I found this picture after I wrote the poem and I find it delightful that it is almost a soulmate to it. The horses here, refer to the horses of apocalypse in Christian mythology and are the central theme of poem as well.






Monochrome Ariel

Mare Zebras in floral rain-coats 

flood past Sir Ladyfinger’s ship.
I had never seen so many stripes

Hunkering past the local skirt-shop.

And so my shoes garbled out few vowels to

The ocean-bed,

Hot with pregnancy

Of neither pink nor blue.
 In life

I chewed on sea-apples and grew up an Eve.

Started tying serpents on my neck for boardroom-meetings.

Lended my fingernails

 to a knight upon a sea-horse–

off to the colour-bind land

I went

to wear frolicking babies; 

one on the basin

The other on the stove.


Until a mismatched rainbow hatched the monochrome ground

From where I broke


To birth myself again


In collage. 

Sea songs

Art: Arnold Böcklin, Villa am Meer

In a sea

Larking in Lurking

Melancholia—my sea song

So many subtle screeches

Pluck the weeds out of my hair

I have to be somewhere else

A place with no-one else

Perhaps under the sea

I no longer want to be me


I put a hand inside my lungs

Give it a saviour plunge

Let the sorrow leak

Death is a water-imagery


Why one must cry, if they should?

To whom they must cry, if indeed they should?

When I cry to a star

The stars don’t see me

They have eyes for million other babies


Sucking sweat

Bloody hands and a homeless bed


So I said

So I sung

Like the letter ‘S’

I’m an unfinished



Only sea must–

if it should

Only sea must–

if it could


dissolve me.



I have these strings tied so deep

I break my hands just to reach

Past an ocean that held my tides

With an island made of threads and fabrics.

I am rowing silently

I see a lighthouse near my home

But is it really my home.

Where is my home?

So I etched a boat upon these tides

For there will be never a home till I ride,

these mountain-like magical seas.

And should I loose my way again,

I’ll untie these strings

all over again.