Mud Pies and Bones: Writing and Art

from the Rocky Mountains

Lucy Simpson

Lucy Simpson
Monument, Colorado, United States
December 20
The Cleaner
I am a published poet and exhibited artist living in the shadow of the small, but lovely Mount Herman, a part of the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. I raise children, tend gardens, cook, write, clean, sculpt, read.....................................................................................


Lucy Simpson's Links
FEBRUARY 4, 2012 5:20PM

The Merrow Wife, poetry by L. Simpson, art by K. Sanderson

Rate: 3 Flag

The merrow then went down to the strand. The sea was lying calm and smooth, just heaving and glittering in the sun, and she thought she heard a faint sweet singing, inviting her to come down..” Thomas Crofton Croker, Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, vol. 2 (London: John Murray, 1828), pp. 3-13

The Merrow Wife

Up above sun sears the salt
and a man in a boat sings:
Diddy Diddy Dum.

I swim up to meet his music.
His song is a hook.
A rough net waits.

I lie in his boat, gasping.
How strange his man hands, rough and dry.
How strange his eyes, blue gems
in the earth of his head.

He marvels:
“You are white as a pearl.
Your hair is green as kelp.
Look what a baby you are,
squealing in my net!”

I do not cry as he removes my scales
with a blade, as if he's whittling wood, 
whistling the while.

He pulls a lace gown over me
and tightens the bones of dead whales
about my ribs.

“Aren't we a pretty sight,” he says.

Lucy Simpson

 Fish and Skyscraper by Katherine Sanderson
Fish and Skyscraper by Katherine Sanderson

Author tags:

poetry, fairy tales, mermaids

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
This is so moving! Your narration from the mermaid's point of view and her perceptions such as "his eyes, blue gems/in the earth of his head", make this poem very poignant.
This is a view I've never had. Very beautiful. But what's the whalebone thing?
A little shocking, the mid point, but understood and related to, of course in the ay I read this. Enjoyed very much LS.
Thanks FusunA. I am really glad you like this one. It is raw and close to my heart.
Hey Spike. Whalebone is what went into corsets. Metal was also sometimes used.
Thanks so much Rita. This one is raw and emotional. It is a metaphor for ripping a woman from her indigenous culture and dressing her in the clothes of the colonial culture. I'm really glad you related to it. I value your opinion.
When i read this i related to how much we as woman are subdued by men's (cultural) expectations and what supreme let down that is. We think we have found a spirit who understands us "I swim up to meet his music".. only to be fitted in whalebone (corset)
I hope this alright to write, I always am fascinated by what people bring to my poem, hoping you feel the same.
One of my favorite poems here on OS. Ever.
@Lucy and Rita:
Thank you both. I returned to read this poem and eavesdropped at your conversation. I saw something I hadn't before.
Better appreciated.
Thanks so much Rita and Fusun! I often forget that a big part of this is the conversation.