Monday, 29 January 2018



Gather around - you may think there’s something fishy afoot
But in the life I am living I have been known to have
Some quite interesting - if not fascinating - debates
Like some recent musings on the impracticality
Or otherwise of seamen - or possibly seawomen -
Choosing to take Merpeople as mates

It is - I imagine - pretty well understood in these modern days
That the sailors of old who in such times almost certainly
Were probably quite frustrated and most usually men
All of whom a very long way from their home ports
So they might understandably be tempted and titillated
By a siren's longing song every now and then

Far from home a bare-chested apparently fair maiden
With an alluring dazzling halo of golden sea-spun hair
Sometimes would bewitch them and bring them delight
But despite everything I really can’t help but wonder
If such yearning lustful delight turned into despair
When it came to matters much later at night

You’d imagine far earlier in their encounter than this
It would occur to even the most randy of frustrated sailors
Upon more intimate investigation of their new found dish
Despite anatomical ignorance I’m sure they could tell
They might not have much future if their lovely new belle
From the waist down was nothing but fish

The more romantically minded amongst us might think
And argue of course that such things are never all about
When it comes to matters concerning the love in our hearts
Physical attributes and the interaction of incompatible bodily bits
Wondering where and what and how a thing might be able to fit
But where’s the relationship without the naughty parts

Then - because I do - I have many other strange thoughts
Like where on a body should the fish-scales start to sprout
Are there half-fleshy scales from the belly button down below
Or do they just begin at a hard line like a peculiar belt
After all if you were a someone who was really half fish
The fish part’s hardly like wearing trousers you know

Ah - They all cry – I see now that you don’t understand
It’s not about matters Piscean or ectothermic cordates
Like people - whales and dolphins are mammals too
So why – I reply – do those fictional depictions
Always choose to show them on porpoise as half fish
With scales and fins and the whole ballyhoo

On those long lonely nights when the first flush has passed
What do humans and Merfolk find in common to talk about
Are Merpeople interested in human art or science or fiction
What would their own undersea books and interests be
With nothing to talk about but seaweed, shells and fish
Interspecies love could fast turn to friction

Moving onwards to matters more practical and everyday
Is it half-fish or man who gets to clean all the laundry
At sea it cannot be easy to handle the washing chores
When those terrible week old rotten fish whiffs fill the air
Without legs to brace you as you rinse and you soak
Do Merpeople merely flap about on the laundry floor

Perhaps long-term relationships were never anyone’s plan
A quick fumble with a mermaid who’d slip away over the side
Tall tales told by seamen to make all of the other men feel green
Of exotic beauties in mystical lands forever remaining unseen
Or guiltily stitched fabrications only meant for covering up
Saucy salty tales that were far more obscene

Personally I believe that the Merpeople were myth
Made up to disguise more basic seaborne lusts and urges
When you’re long away from your home and your hearth
Far too long in confined spaces with foul-smelling blokes
Then home to a family oblivious of such aquatic betrayals
Whose first request is that you take a bath

MAWH, Jan 2018

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