The Old Man And The Mermaid


It was a gray and murky day,
There was a real chill in the air,
The wind kept growing stronger,
The longer I stayed there.

Invigorating, captivating,
An angry, wild sea,
It rushed to and fro with no control,
Crashing mercilessly.


Seagulls ranting overhead,
Aware a storm was brewing,
I climbed high upon a boulder,
To have a better viewing.

"Hi, son,"  I heard a voice,
An old man sat in place,
He moved over, as he motioned ‘come,'
A sad, strange smile on his face.

"I don't mean to intrude, sir,"
I moved, as if to go,
"No, no, son ... come and sit,
We're in for quite a blow."


"Yes sir,"  I said and settled down,
Just as a sheet of lightening glared,
Though it flashed far out at sea,
The birds grew silent in the air.

"Oh, this will be a good one, son,"
With excitement, his eyes glowed,
Together we watched in awe,
As the water churned and rose.


How dark the sky, though no rain yet,
Storm clouds bumped into each other,
They raced, as in a game of tag,
Like ships with broken rudders.

The wind took on a frigid chill,
I buttoned up my coat,
The old man secured his scarf,
Tied it tighter at his throat.


Far out on the horizon,
We thought we saw a ship,
Was it a ghost or was it real?
We kept losing sight of it.

I shook my head, and then I said,
"I sure feel sorry for those guys."
"You bet,"   the old man answered,
Concern showing in his eyes.


"It reminds me of a time,
When I was out on such a sea,
I was a young, apprentice seaman,
As scared as I could be."

'Twas the hardest I had ever prayed,
In all of my experience,
Son," he said, "there're no atheists,
On a sea with so much turbulence."

"Well, God heard you," I remarked,
"You're here to tell the tale."
"Yes, I'm here," he said, "But my ship
Went down in that horrendous gale."


"The captain and my shipmates drowned,
I never saw them again."
"Well, how did you survive?" I asked,
"One kid from all those men?"

"God works in mysterious ways,
You'll never guess how He saved me,
A mermaid took me in her arms,
And towed me from that sea."


"Yeah ... right,"  I grinned (he must be daft),
"Son, why would I lie to you?
Mermaid?  Angel?  Either one?
I just know she pulled me through."

"She was the most beautiful creature,
That I think I'd ever seen,
Her seaweed hair ... unkempt and wild,
Yet with a soft and silky sheen."


"Her eyes were iridescent,
Of many different hues,
Compelling and magnetic,
As if seeing right through you."

"Her skin was soft and smooth,
As if dipped and bathed in lotion,
A perfect figure, too ...
A floating sculpture in the ocean."

"Her arms were strong, yet gentle,
As she pulled me through the waves,
Her fish-like body steering me,
Far from my sea-filled grave."


"When she left me on the shore,
Her lips brushed across my cheek,
I reached for her, but she swam away,
And disappeared beneath the deep."

The old man sighed and closed his eyes,
"Yes, that day she rescued me,
I fell in love forever,
With my mermaid from the sea."

"And now on windy, stormy days,
I always go down to the shore,
In hopes I'll get a glimpse of her,
I long to see her just once more."


That fading ship on the horizon,
I now strained in vain to see,
But the old man looked for his mermaid,
As he scrutinized the sea.

I hoped the old man saw her,
I hoped the ship did not go down,
But, if it did, I hope his mermaid,
Kept another man from being drowned.

~ Virginia (Ginny) Ellis ~
Copyright © 2001
Used with permission

To read more of Ginny's wonderful verses
Please  click here.

Enter Recipient's Email:


Please click here for permission to use graphics.

Original music composed by Geoff Anderson
Used With Permission.

Next   Place Of Enchantment   Home