The Siren’s Harp

The Siren’s taloned toes grasp a driftwood limb
wedged among jagged rocks that loomed
like headstones tossed in the shallow hell
of Purgatory Point. Through his scope
Josiah witnesses her crimson hair tumble
a dazzling mask around her nakedness.
Dissipating clouds waft flecks through tangled
tendrils as she preens fresh salt from her wings.

Josiah casts angels to the wind as his heart
hurtles toward sparkling droplets of the Pacific
that nest on the Siren’s clear plumed skin.
Everything his world holds sacred wanes
as she feathers songs on her whalebone harp.
It’s flossy sinew strings strum mesmerizing
melodies that urge Josiah to turn his ship’s wheel
into the fading light of his last breathing day.

Reaching the Siren’s illusion, splintering
explodes, wood flies and Josiah draws his sword
to slice through sinew. Savoring the crew
of Josiah’s Good Fortune, thousands of piranhas
eat flesh to bone. The Siren keens a haunting dirge,
while she restrings her whalebone harp.

Brenda Warren 2011
Visit one of my other blogs, The Sunday Whirl for more poems with this week’s wordle words. Construct a piece yourself, and post a link to it there so our community can celebrate your results.

21 thoughts on “The Siren’s Harp

  1. Neatly blended.
    Josiah’s such a hardshell name, and Purgatory Point. I like having a Pacific Coast siren,
    and a siren with piranhas, yet.
    I really like the denseness of language all the way through. And :
    Everything his world holds sacred wanes
    as she feathers songs on her whalebone harp.
    That is such a beautifully worked pivot. “world” slows the sound, and “holds” almost stops it. Then you do have to stop to voice the “s” in “sacred”. All those hard d sounds, and then “wanes”. Then you follow with a lyric line. Wow.


  2. Impressive piece, Brenda. I find writing about anything connected to Greek mythology difficult. Your poem perfectly captures the Siren’s irresistibly alluring song.


  3. Excellent read, Brenda. It was like the climactic scene in a fantasy novel or movie – except in those, Josiah would have won. I actually prefer your ending, hard as it was on the hero. It’s refreshing sometimes to have the dragon (or siren) win.


  4. A satisfying story that transported me out of reality, Brenda. I liked what you did with ‘flossing.’ Now THAT was a hard word. Slicing through sinew – a vivid image!


  5. Gosh, you took me straight into the story with this one, Brenda. I’d hoped Joshua might reverse the myth and conquer the siren, but your exciting words gave a satisfying ending.


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