Shirley Neal and Cecilia Reid Driscoll

Inspiration Piece:  Mermaid Photograph by Shirley Neal.

Response Piece:  Sidewalk Siren by Cecilia Reid Driscoll

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin.

I.

sister, how you glow

despite the weariness of ages in your eyes

despite your unshed tears

you remember children

who played in your waves

made laughing beards of sea foam

dove in and out of sight just to tease you.

they have grown beyond your reach.

II.

they say you sang men away from righteous work

but you have long been silent.

III.

disenchanted sister, queen of the lost

you almost smile because you cannot cry.

when you left your last known world

everywhere was new and strange.

you tried to fit in,

holding on to shells of what you loved.

you could not absorb

the things of this world.

IV.

I knew you at a distance

on the street the other day.

you still wore your loud bravery.

you still clutched your addictions.

I crossed lanes of traffic to reach you.

then I realized you were not real,

just an open-hearted memory

created by another mortal who lost you too.

V.

golden mother, ocean’s daughter

you tried to move gracefully between two worlds.

your surface and what lies beneath

shimmer with the beauty of your lives.

VI.

mirror-window, I have carried you

across latitudes and meridians to this last island.

I would I knew you better.

all I know is reflection and desire:

to walk away from golden poisoned glory

to breathe warm light in green and blue dimensions

to sing the rising songs beyond the Sunset Beach Café.

2 Comments

  1. shirley neal
    Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm | #

    I am just so thrilled to see my work alongside such lovely words. Thanks for the opportunity

  2. Susan
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 11:15 am | #

    The picture is so interesting – and the poem is very moving. Wow. I love the constant analogy of the sea “holding onto shells of what you loved.” Very stirring.

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