Beware The Siren
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
by Keith E. Sparks Jr.
I too, have buried the dead
and seen the faces aptly avoided
by the living.
I have touched the pallid hand
weathered in a desert land
with and without misgivings.
And I have even heard
Alfred's sirens singing.
Venir l'amour, venir.
The drowned Phoenician Sailor said,
'Dare not ignore the honored dead!
The Cheshire grin upon my face
is a permanent mark of my disgrace.'
'Beware the siren's call! '
A deceitful thing it was,
painted in white lies,
and much too lovely
to linger in.
Tant vous êtes jaloux de garder vos secrets!
But I do not fear the darkness, nor balk
at grinning demons haunting dusty halls
sweeping cobwebs with ragged brooms.
At spring mending-time
the gaps are always pondered
(as we swap lie for lie)
and one wonders how they came.
Yet no one ever knows.
It's four A.M.
I should be sleeping!
But I digress
and sojourn in the desert.
One decade more is all.
I can rest.
So I wander through broken pillars;
somewhere I have already traveled,
The siren's call combs the sands
while the unstrung Ovation streams melodies
to muffle the inevitable doom
avoided for a time.
Wandering deeper into a barren land,
further and further from a siren's hand.
The sun had set alone.
A grinning moon now casts doubt
in slanted shards of lunar light.
I’ve felt the curse of mortal man
throughout the somber day.
I wonder what the night may hold
to send the curse away.
But in salted skies, where
celestial entities thrive
mortals find no answers.
Unless they die.
And a parade of wind carries slings
and arrows upon its back. Deadly,
accurate—in earnest the siren sings.
Je suis belle, ô mortel!
Toujours tu chériras la mer,
Venir l'amour, venir.
Horizons shift, scents of brine assault
and white waves batter rocks below.
A desert replaced by desolate crags.
The siren's doing, I know.
But I do not fear the darkness
nor balk at a drowned sailor
strangled by seaweed
red and brown.
I do not fear the siren
No, I do not believe I'll drown.
A final flight to the water below
caressed by a witch-maid's song.
Open arms await me
to immerse in the welcome chill
of the waters below.
I can rest...