He had been Master of the Seas,
his skin a show of memorial scars
of many battles: even swordfish
and sharks had been subdued by him.
One day he saw a fat shiny fish;
he was about to swallow it when
sage dolphins cried: do not touch,
it’s an illusion that will destroy you.
Much harm will result.
But mermen sang: eat it and
you will have all the fish
in the sea, and should you
get ill our best mermaids
will look after you.
So he ate the fish.
I saw him this morning
on a large slab, decapitated
and quartered, thick red blood
oozing out of sad flesh.
We did not mean it,
sang the mermen,
we did not mean it at all,
yet he was dead, dead, dead.
Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do email us at email@example.com.
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