Jar upon jar of shells fill the shelves where
books, photographs, normality should be.
Swathes of brittle seaweed
hang in place of curtains,
obscuring a view of landlocked dales.
She tells tales of temperamental oceans,
ships embraced by wicked kraken, sailors
ensnared by the silken web of a siren song.
Hers is another world, long ago and far away,
where seven human tears
could catch a selkie lover for a faithless wife.
I used to be a mermaid, she whispered,
when I brushed her waves of silver hair
and I swear that when I placed her
in the arm chair, scales that captured
the world, tumbled from her wasted legs.
Delhi Days: First Impressions
Warmth like a steadfast hug, the slightest breeze.
A distant call to prayer from minarets,
parakeets chirping like squeaky dog toys.
Cars converse in angry exchanges,
tuk-tuks daring to dance between the lanes.
Street sellers stroll among the traffic with:
wash cloths, Das Kapital, high expectations.
Smog tickles my airways, veils the sun.
But still the colors sing: bougainvillea
spilling in crimson waves over high walls,
girls in rainbow saris riding pillion,
the lure of Lodhi Garden's emerald grass.
Bernadette Whiteley is a British ESL teacher living in the French countryside. She’s been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child. Wherever she lives, she loves to meet up with fellow writers. She runs a monthly Writing Group, which has 18 members. Bernadette has had her writing published by The National Trust, Wingless Dreamer, and Living France Magazine.