Siren Song – A Haibun

Siren Song

The sailboat drifting to far flung shores.
Travellers are wearied by days without end,
till finally anchored in the secluded bay.
Divers make ready, the depths are waiting,
the mysterious claims are set to be unraveled
and the truth discovered. A lilting melody floats
on the gentle sea breeze and sailors heads are turned.

Whistles and whispers
temptation and enticement
siren song in the wind

The divers dive and search the bay. Each one more
certain that in the deep the melody is clearer still
and leads them deeper and further. They know they face
peril yet on the go, short on air, short on sense, searching,
yearning for the source of the tune that now haunts their
and hearts and minds. One by one they are driven mad with desire,
one by one they are drowned gasping for their last weak breath
or rise too fast and are killed by the dreadful bends.

Chorus that echoes
leading, pleading, breaking spirits
siren song in the wind

Long searches filled with grief for those perished
are rewarded at last as a cave is found. The last, the strong,
make the dive and surface with surprise to find fresh air.
Sitting above them on the rocks, brushing hair golden locks
with a coral comb they see her: the mermaid, her tail gleaming
in the strange eerie light that enters the cave, they know not from where.
She smiles and whispers: “You have seen me as none have before –
you must leave and never return, this land is mine!
Never return. Never speak of it”.

Lyrics of death
enchanting and deceiving
siren song in the wind

“But no!” They exclaim. “Your song has drowned too many
brave men for us to leave unanswered” They beg to know why she sings.
Does she not know how her sweet voice calls men to their death?
She answers that she cares not – it was men who brought death
to her people so very long ago. If she can return the favour
then she is glad. They may leave before she sings again
or face the madness and remain forever as her slaves.
Leaving, diving down and out they are undone. Her words were
false. They hear the song, they turn around and around again.
Their air is gone, they too are drowned. Lost souls in a sea
of lost hope – the siren song continues…

Whistles and whispers
temptation and enticement
siren song in the wind

Long ago and faraway the mer-folk disappeared
but the siren song continues.


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