Adeline Foster

(Instructor of poetry, Hagerstown, MD)

Storm Song


''He lay dying in my arms,
I knew his life was spent.
He who, only yesterday,
Strode boldly as he went
To dive for pearls in oysters
Along the coral reef.
He was my mother's cousin
Yet I felt a brother's grief.

''Now with his body broken,
His life breath all but gone,
He whispered, 'Laurl, never,
Never listen to her song.' ''
''I bent my head to hear the words
Of his labored death-bed tale.
The sound was barely audible
Above the raging gale.''

'' 'You've heard the tales of mermaids
Every sailor longs to see,
Because the voice of wisdom says
Impossible they be.
I longed, as every seaman does,
To see it with my eyes,
That I might snap my fingers at
Those who think that they are wise.

'Was it just delusion -
A phantasm in my mind?
For this could I be dying?
Oh Laurl, please be kind.
I've sailed the three vast oceans;
I've sailed seventy and seven seas;
And never in my life have I
Caught a glimpse of such as she.

'I've seen her vision dancing
In the mist before my eyes.
I've heard her voice entrancing
As the breakers ebb and rise,
And, oh, her beauty gripped me;
I knew that I was lost,
Yet powerless to turn back
No matter what the cost.

'All day, all night, regardless,
Desire drove me on,
Until, at last, she beckoned
Just before the dawn.
The strains of her music thrilled me
Much more than I could bear,
As she lifted from the ocean
Streaming locks of her hair.

'I knew that she was teasing
At a need she knew so well,
And she knew that I was helpless
To turn my head and break the spell.
In raven greed I reached for
The beauty of her form,
As the boat was dashed to pieces
And I sank beneath the foam.

'That's when you found me dying
On the rocks where I was thrown;
I had to live to warn you
Of the danger I have known.' ''
''He drew a breath and shuddered,
And I knew that he was gone,
As he whispered, 'Laurl, never,
Never listen to her song.' ''

''Now, the reefs have been my livelihood
And they will be till I die.
The sea draws me like a magnet,
In this I cannot lie.
I've weathered storms and shipwreck,
But, no matter where I roam,
I hear a voice in the windstorm,
And I know I'm not alone.

''For, when the winds are blowing,
And I know a storm is near,
And the lilting of her music
Seems to drift into my ear,
Above her voice I hear it,
And it helps me to be strong
As it whispers, 'Laurl, never,
Never listen to her song.' ''

Submitted: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Edited: Thursday, August 29, 2013

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Comments about this poem (Storm Song by Adeline Foster )

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  • Gary Kedron (8/28/2013 5:09:00 PM)

    my mind went on a journey with your words...
    thank you for the invite... exquisite writing, please continue (Report) Reply

  • Richard Lackman (8/25/2013 11:27:00 AM)

    Adeline, what a beautiful poem. As a salt water sailor myself, I know well the dangers of life at sea. What an enjoyable read. Interesting as the classic tale now told in the third person. Dick Lackman (Report) Reply

  • Astrid Eckstein (8/18/2013 2:52:00 PM)

    How lovely and smooth this poem flows and makes one feel present during this conversation. Bravo! (Report) Reply

  • Lorraine Colon (8/11/2013 11:21:00 PM)

    This was fantastic, Adeline. The song of the siren - I've heard legends about that. I love stories about the sea. You held my attention right to the end, In fact, I wanted to read more! Wonderful poem! (Report) Reply

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