Odysseus, I Sing to You

Written by Kareny Zhong

“Siren is in the mist tonight. 

She sings of her lost love

to lonely ships that wander by.

Quick, stop those ears, and tie me up fast.

Lash me if I beg you to free me…”

Please. Bear with me,

with me and my voice that lures

a thousand soldiers to my gate.

They say how my song

is like an unbreakable chain.

The tightest lock to the deepest memories

are not so hard to break…

But, stranger, will you hear me close?

Even though you’ll never

understand a word?

In my heart I am cursed

with a permanent ache,

a grief I can never cure.

I was a marvelous singer,

a nightingale to the ears.

I sang for desperate lovers;

I sing for the poor.

Many tried to capture me and

hold me in their cages, to be their 

possessions with an eye-catching daze,

but none succeeded in obtaining me.

They did not possess what I seek.

Until one day, that day

when a young man came and promised 

a love that would never fade:

He sang to me

a song that he composed. 

His voice was no stunning thing,

neither were the melody, the words.

But my heart trembled,

And the famous songbird was

never herself again…

Bewitched, I followed my heart,

but the pursuer traded my love

for a graver plot. 

He stole my music for himself,

and left me with a throat that only sings 

to lure, to drive out those

memories merry and mad.

I was thrown into the sea 

from his bone white sail

but Neptune saw my grief

and exchanged my legs for a tail.

I fled my land for the water

and left all my joy at its shore.

And now – what now?

I am alone, desperate, and

with a voice I cannot end.

I watch from my cliff the ships sail on

to their distant homes,

while grief forces air through my throat.

I try to ask someone to take me away

from this life, all this dismay,

but no one listens.

After the lamp on ship sterns

leave me with two enlarged pupils,

I am alone again, desperate, and

with a voice I still cannot end.

Tell me, stranger, since you’ll be the

only person to survive my voice:

what do you say?

Are you still listening?

Published by haringeyunchained

Haringey Unchained is a collective of students aiming to show case the creative talent of Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham, London. We think that through the promotion of our creative thoughts, we can educate our community, bringing to the foreground the critical and creative consciousness of a vibrant school in a deprived part of London. We are endeavouring to provide this blog as a platform for our community, giving the space to those whose work otherwise might not be seen or read. Being that the cuffs are off, we are able to express through our photography, art, short fiction and poetry, what’s really on our minds. We are free.

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