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Selkie

by Cspr


Some love the wilds,
others wish for the uniformity of humanity’s artificial creations.
Some people feel safe in the city,
others in the country.

The truth in it all is that the ground is never truly sacred.
It never will be.
From dawn, animals dug into the ground with scraping claws.
Humankind continued the work, sending metal deeper, deeper,
as it in turn went higher and higher into the sky.

Humankind decided that some places were to be left untouched, or could be wonder--
forests so old no one can remember when they didn’t stand,
rock circles and pyramids raised from rock and earth.
They lived in houses of mud brick and wood, taking from the earth what they could,
and they never quite stopped.

They set aside places for wildness,
ignoring the wildness barely tame under their feet,
all around them.
They continue to fear the beats of that wildness,
if only because they know the wildness always calls for them as well,
a reminder they’re little more than animals,
than the wolves and bears and catamounts they fear.

So many cling to the holiness of a single city,
a stretch of land hardly different from any other stretch of land in the whole world.
While others tear down wonders,
making way for parking lots and buildings to be knocked down in ten years.
Land shifts as people shift.
Soon the holy, the wonders, will wander.

At the end, I know a little secret of which I’m proud.
Some wander the wilds, looking for their answers,
but I stare at the sea.

Oh, the glorious sea!
I could describe it forever.
I could say how the sand feels underfoot,
hot and dry or cold and sticky-wet;
home to crabs and burrowing mussels;
how the sand is made of eroded rock,
older perhaps than any human that walks it;
white, gray, tan, tawny, brown;
and able to be made into fantastic forms,
able to fall with a strong breeze.

Oh, the glorious sea!
The air of salty-brine, wafting of the water and, perhaps, the stagnant water up high,
washed up the beach with a storm,
leaving an ocean-made ditch;
the smell of seafood, fried and fishy and covered in ketchup,
and the smell of funnel cake and cotton candy at the boardwalk;
the smell of the beach-goers, sweat and sunscreen;
and the smell of death, of fish caught.

Oh, the glorious sea!
Water always moving, taking, stealing,
retreating, understanding--
blue like bluebells, green like old copper,
brown as a murky pond, black as obsidian, red from algae.
It never stays still, not really,
even on the calmest day,
fish and beasts move in its water,
mammals surface and birds dive,
and air from the depths bubbles up.

Oh, the glorious sea!
The feel of water on my body, battered by waves, fish nibbling at my toes--
and the water, never pure, never perfect, never human,
salty with seaweed and kelp and creatures that lurk.
It feels as if I could float in the sea forever,
I wish sometimes I could stay,
never leave,
find my stolen sealskin and return.
One lie, one key, and maybe I could
return to my home,
return selkie.

I have been away for so long,
but I can remember that while the earth changes, so, so quickly,
the sea keeps being the sea.
Humankind will try to perfect it, try to poison it,
and they move across it like water spiders,
or try to swim in its depths like blind, slow fish,
but the sea for now and maybe always will remain wild,
keep calling with wind whistling across it, creatures chattering, and storms raging,
and mankind knows it is best not to ruin it,
for it is sacred.
It is in them, always, more so, perhaps, than the earth can ever be.


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User avatar
801 Reviews


Points: 32312
Reviews: 801

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Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:56 pm
ShadowVyper wrote a review...



Hey Cspr!

You reviewed my work so I'm here to return the favor.

Firstly, all of your lines should be capitalized. It's a strange rule that I never have fully understood, but a rule nonetheless when you write poetry. My next complaint lies here:

home to crabs and burrowing muscles
~ 'muscles' refers to the muscles we have in our body; 'mussels' are the animals on the beach.

But overall I really liked your poem. It's full of emotion, and, as a person who hopes to become a marine biologist one day, your description made me giddy! It really carried me to the beach when I read it (which is always an amazing experience :wink:).

Keep writing,

~Shady




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36 Reviews


Points: 354
Reviews: 36

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Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:24 pm
LosPresidentes wrote a review...



This is... Good?
A bit depressing, and an accurate depiction of humanities condition.
IT is also a good depiction of the Celtic folklore.
I do have a few nitpicks with flow.
Although it is a narrative, it seems a bit... I have to make up a word for this.
"Jarbled"?
Its very open so Jar, although very muddled, and complex.
It is good from the third paragraph down, till the last paragraph,
I would re-work it, and I have no suggestions to offer though.
It doesn't require rewording soo much as replacing of words.
If that makes any sense.
I try to leave the working to the author, so thats all I got,
so in all I give it a 6 out of 10.





“A good book isn't written, it's rewritten.”
— Phyllis A. Whitney, Guide to Fiction Writing