The Selkie’s Lament: Haibun

In the wild water I thrive. I remember this. When I rise from the cold deep, the waves rock and cradle me. At dawn, the grey northern sea turns to fire. When darkness comes, the moon silvers the water, and I watch the stars twinkle and drift across the sky. I didn’t know how happy I was then, watching the days pass in light and shadow across the ocean. My brothers, sisters, and I danced our sleek bodies amidst the waves, laughing and singing our ancient songs. But I had glimpsed you from afar, and I was curious. When the summer sun lingered long and languid, I swam to the shallows, then walked ashore, my human form dripping dulse and smelling of brine. Love, I thought, but possession I became. And now— my true skin gone–I am marooned here, grounded, the sea forsworn forever more. And yet still it calls to me—come! Oh, my brothers and sisters–do you know my sadness? Do you hear my cries?


Tears under moon-glow

fall, drift, mingle with the sea

carried with the tides


Guillermo_Gómez_Gil_-_Salida_de_la_luna (1)

Guillermo Gómez Gil, “Moonrise,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a haibun for Colleen Chesebro’s  Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were happy and sad. Sometimes my inner romantic pours out in a brain-tide. 😉



42 thoughts on “The Selkie’s Lament: Haibun

      • I’m glad I did 🙂 For some reason Outlook has started to separate my mails into ‘priority’,’other’, and ‘undesirable’. I don’t know what criteria it uses, nor how to go back to the old system where it just showed me all my mails and let me decide which I wanted to read. I have to check three different mailboxes now for the same address and I’m sure I miss some important ones.

      • Oh, I use Mail. I hope I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t love it though. I used to use “Entourage,” the Mac version of Outlook. I liked that. I don’t think it exists anymore though.

      • Don’t know it. The Mac technician says there’s no problem with the logiciel and it works fine for them therefore the problem is with the internet provider. They send me to Microsoft, say Mail isn’t their problem, and Microsoft give two replies 1) the problem is with the Mail for Mac logiciel 2) it’s a problem they can fix if I pay them a lot of money. On a computer that’s at the end of its useful life, I don’t think so.

      • Oops. Must be French. It isn’t so much that I’m losing my English as that it is getting interference from French and I’m noticing it less and less 🙂 Yes, it must be software.

      • Gibberish is the language I’m happiest with too 🙂 If I was truly bi-lingual I would switch from one language to another without difficulty, but there are grey areas where I get tongue-tied in both languages.

      • Another reason why we get along then–the gibberish part, I mean.
        My French is about like Peter Sellers’ Inspector Closeau. 🙂 Though I can still recite one of my high school French “dialogs.”

      • That reminds me of our first trip to France together when we were students and we needed to buy a knife. Husband went into a hardware shop and asked for a ‘clouseau’. We were turfed out with a lot of French abuse— about mickey-taking I imagine.

  1. Wow! You haibun was fabulous! “When the moon silvers the water…” that is one of the best mind images! I am really loving these Haibun! ❤

  2. Poor selkie who loved the freedom of gliding, flipping and swimming, then got seduced by something on land. This is quite a bittersweet love haibun, Merril. I liked it very much with your prose introduction and ending poem.

  3. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 37 – SMOKE & VEIL – Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

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