Friday, May 23, 2008

The Legend of the Selkie

a joint, epistolary effort,
on the eve of St. Patrick's Day, 2007.
and afterwards, there came this litany:

"i am your kitten.
i am your slave.
i am your selkie."

and who are they, these parts of me?
kitten is for spanking.
the slave is for caning.
and the selkie?
dare we say it?

the selkie needs no chains.
this selkie isn't going anywhere.
the selkie is for taking in your arms.
the selkie is for loving.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Irish tell stories of the selkie. . .feral spirits in the form of seals, who frolic and play in the coldest ocean.


And occasionally, they shed their fur, and appear as preternaturally beautiful women, wild and foam-flecked, dangerous like a storm in the open sea, but lovely beyond the words of a million poets. . .

And they say, although no one has ever seen it happen. . .

that if you are bold and cunning. . .

and can contrive to steal their coat of fur,
when they take it off to swim. . .


That the beautiful woman will be yours to possess. . .

At the bottom of every legend, is a gleaming grain of golden truth. . .

- - - - -

I am a selkie who wants to be caught.

I've seen the handsome Irish sea captain standing at the prow of his ship. His dark red hair is wild from the wind, and the look in his eye is wild as well. He pretends to be cruel, but all I see is frustration, a desire for a passion that will consume him. His eyes burn, his skin burns, his soul is on fire seeking the love of his dreams. They say he loved and lost, they say he seeks a love beyond the human, which never will be found.

I am not human. And I burn as well.

I watch. I swim near his ship for days, until they anchor near a protected cove. I watch till I spy him standing on deck, looking towards the shore but seeing nothing...

... except now there is a sleek fur coat on a rock. And a woman's body slipping into the water. A body that dives and surfaces. She floats on her back, nipples saluting the sun. His eye is caught by red hair that matches his own. And something starts to stir...

I feel his rising interest. I am supernatural - as he grows I sense vibrations of disturbed air. I climb up onto the rock and display myself, seemingly oblivious to the threat which I have invited.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him move towards a life boat. And then suddenly his desire overtakes him, his renewed hope overwhelms him. He rips off his clothes and jumps into the sea.

He will take my coat, he thinks he will steal my coat, and then will possess me. But it is I who have set the trap. He is already mine.

- - - - - - -

My shameless selkie swims and shimmers, her naked body the plaything of the wild sea, her lust as deep and wide as the ocean

A bolt of lightning is more easily captured, an ocean wave more easily embraced.

But a madness is upon me, and the ocean is not as wild as my passion.

The arctic cold, I do not feel, and a lungful of brine I do not taste. My mind has contracted to a single thought. . .my aspirations narrowed to a single goal.

I will capture. . .

I will possess. . .

and I will ravish this sprite whose beauty has ravished me.

- - - - - - -

They like to think they are our captors, these wild
Irish men of the sea. They like to think they have
caught us, have bound us, have tamed us.
Their fantasies feed the fire in their loins.

We selkies have learned to leave them their legends.

My red-haired captain dives into the sea.
And I slither off my stone.
He will steal my coat and hide it in a cave, and when
I emerge from the water, naked as the lust in his
eyes, he will take me as his own.

He will lay me down upon the cold ground,
and the heat of our coupling will melt
the frost and cause wild roses to
spring up all around us.

I will never leave him.
They say we selkies in human form
yearn to return to
the sea.
But its call cannot drown the beating of my heart
when he takes me in his arms,
nor my wild cries
when he lies between my legs.

I do not wait for him to learn that he must destroy my seal coat to keep me his forever.

I burn it myself.

- - - - - -

She was easy to catch, this savage child of the sea. . .much easier
than the legends would have you believe. . .and when we grapple, it is
she who wraps her legs around me, as if to prevent my escape. . .

But in the flurry of limbs I can't be sure. . .I press my newfound
treasure to my chest. . .and penetrate her wailing mouth with my
tongue. . .

And the ocean I drown in is warm, and soft and gentle. . .and I sink
to its very bottom. . .

- - - - - - - -

The selkie in the morning

It is the first morning of her new life.
Seal no more, she has sacrificed slithering
through silvery waves for nights of
wild abandon and days of tender
joy. The naked man beside her stirs,
his red hair a match for her own.
She burrows up against his warmth
and sighs. He is her Captain. She has
no regrets.

Saturday, 16 March 2007

3 comments:

Paul said...

OG, this is truly beautiful, I shall be reading this again and again.
Thank you for the gift of beauty.
Warm hugs,

BooksAndMyth said...

Hi! You were right! I enjoyed this! Very nice! And I don't if you are the first to think of the twist, but I love it. LOL

oatmeal girl said...

thank you, paul. i love this one, too. i miss these stories the philosopher and i used to write each other. it's not the same on the phone, it's not the same kind of creativity. but he needs to save his writing skills for the dissertation, so i don't begrudge him.

thanks for stopping by, booksandmyth. i do wonder whether it has occurred to anyone else. good old synchronicity. you never know...