This is the one song that everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible’.
Margaret Attwood (1998)
Threads of melodies tack through sultry air,
weave over waves, surge past the shore,
travel to a boat and see the split shot sinkers
he presses onto lines to give them weight.
His head tilts like a vertical bobbin,
shuttles back and forth to pick up the thread,
wonders where the sound originates,
ponders—perhaps it’s only in his head.
The sound’s in the shape of his lover
the woman he dreams of through the day
and then he sees his line is entangled,
he won’t make it back to her early this way.
He picks at the line and starts to unravel
yet siren threads drift closer, he hears
them become the soft tone
of his love’s sweet blandishments,
‘Promise you’ll be early
tonight, my dear?’
He shakes his head, the song enthralls.
Home calls, his wish: to kiss her soon.
At a week-long workshop during lockdown, the theme was the sea. At that time, I was reading poetry by Margaret Attwood and enjoyed her ‘Siren Song’, I love Greek myths and am fascinated by fishermen – I remember as a child seeing one who was repairing nets on the harbour – such a solitary life, it seems to me. I acknowledge Margaret Attwood and quote the first stanza of ‘Siren Song’ in ‘Entanglement’.