Zola and the Sirens

Zola and the Sirens : Jan 23, 2020

by Jeri Brown 

In a timeless place on the small Zina island up north lay Zola, 

a large lake near Nova Scotia coastal shore, 

three siren sisters took the form of mermaids, 

beautiful humans above the waist, 

fish below with human head and arm. 

Surrounded by an elongated sheet of shallow water a mile long, 

the wide island gently curved a dune of fine white sand. 

During the season smooth sand lilies between the bay and the lake. 

Strange bulbs buried in the sand sent up thick green leaves, 

white flowers resembling a glacier blossoming at early night fall on 

calm seas. 

Sea-witch Mereminum, cold hearted femme fatale motivated by lust, 

earthly pleasure and vain pursuits, touched hearts in melodiously sweet songs, 

lured enchanted ignorant sailors, sea-travelers, 

lulled asleep with her harmony and pleasing blandishment, 

beguiled, devoured by her. 

An easily angered immortal gorgon, 

long strands of hair of venomous snakes appeared. 

When love relationship soured, killing her shepherd lover, 

ashamed and insane, Mere jumped into the ocean, 

took the form of a fish resorting to evil, violent ways.   

Thessa and Water, equally beautiful water spirited priestesses of the night, 

brought redemption, wealth and good fortune to those favored through music, 

Exotic sweet peaceful powerful melodies and rhythms 

surrounded them of African and European instruments 

as they straddled both land and water giving serenity to ignorant sailors. 

Instead of drowning in their tears and the open-sea, 

grief-stricken after the death of their King Enzee, 

under watchful eyes on mariners across the seven seas they allowed safe passage, 

only rarely did they transform into raging gorgons to cast their raft, 

turning some to stone. 

The stern reaches its maximum height, 

as it strikes the broad breast of a small fisherman’s paddle boat, 

lifting up into the air and dropping down again in one thump. 

Tiny ripples speed over the moonlit sea and breathe with relief, 

as the men reach the shore at last. 

Sailors do not notice the effect the wash has had for some time 

The noise of their engine drowns frantic calls of help 

from the small boat that floats near them. 

Once the men set their anchor against the sand they stand knee deep, 

scowling down into transparent waters as shoals of fish flick around their feet.

Jeri Brown, 2019