Shapeshifter threw me a rope
and all I held was an umbilical dead end

                                    —bridge from nowhere.

Like wind-cleft dune breathes grains back into itself
self-catalytic creature / fragile phantom.

Like bolt from the blue from nowhere to nothing
electrical fluke / flicker of an overheated brain.

Still, stay is my plea
though I utter it thinly

sounding out the many names
of you

                                    —the many, many shapes.

Leave thickens the skin claylike, poreless
till craquelure chinks shatter the illusion

and you’re a mess: a sullen inconsolable mess.
Your old-man-of-the-sea stubborn disquiet

could rival the surest hands
even heroic

                                    —even watertight.

Rare one, is it against your will that you return?
Your truths are hard-won

reluctant oracles mirthlessly spelling Necessity
violent blood drawn from the stone—

Weary stone who would drag me to the bottom
of the sea:

tell me when is the time for mercy
and which of us should be the one

to give it?

Caroline Anjali Ritchie is an Australian-born, London-dwelling writer and researcher. She is currently completing a PhD on the poetry and art of William Blake. Her poetry explores the relationship between language, nature, and the human mind, often with an emphasis on mental health.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Nereus

  1. L.K. Latham says:

    The romance of Nereus now has a new feeling- not the same romantic as he used to be.

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