Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

Puella Maris

by John M. Marshall

I have journeyed to a place I had never seen.
I have touched the shores of a distant dream
And beside its gleaming dunes found an enigma.
Reaching into the sunlit streams
I felt the pulse of wonder.
Breasting the spectra among the spangled waves
I embraced the heart of rapture;

For through the shimmering sea-foam
The face of a girl appeared,
Her skin the color of seaweed,
Her eyes like mother-of-pearl.
From the ocean's depths her body rose,
Springing from the crests like coral.
Her fingers were adorned with anemones,
And periwinkle hung from her ears.
In one hand she held a mirror
And in the other hand a comb.
Like the morning star the sea-lamb sparkled
As her hair fanned out like a palm.
She spread her arms like a swan's wings,
Encircling the sun above her.
Slowly she opened her mouth like a flower
And her song ascended like frankincense.

Her music was in rhythm with the cadence of the swells,
A misty harmony to the cries of the gulls.

"I am the link between man and the sea:
Flesh of the water; blood of the tree.
Heaven is my body, the earth my tail:
Spirit of the stars; soul of the whale.
I am the link between man and the sea:
Womb of the water; womb of the tree."

Returning to the combers from whence she came,
"The sea is your past; your future is the land.
Protect them both and guard nature's plan."

Then as three dolphins swam close to her side
She dove beneath the billows of the waning tide.

© 2012 John M. Marshall

Find more by John M. Marshall in the Author Index.

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.