Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

#5 Red Tide

They swim together.
The fish around her,
their eyes open, her eyes closed,
trust the pull of the tide.
Fish of every color,
yellow, green and red,
follow this tide up river to the place
of beginnings,
marea creciente, rising tide.

Fish eyes know the sea and the river,
ebb and flow, seeing and not seeing,
from marea viva, spring tide,
to marea muerte, neap tide,
so many days, so many nights
of swimming into smaller and smaller
channels, still trusting the way.
Not even a siren in the sea
counts time.

NOTE: This Monday's ReadWritePoem features this beautiful drawing called "marea roja" by ladyorlando. I hadn't visited this site for a while and was surprised and then not surprised by yet another sirena.


  1. Hello, Beth! My first visit but I'll be back.

    The introduction of more Spanish terms for the tide gives a wonderful rhythm to the poem as the flow of the sea and river.

    I'm interested to see you're writing a novel on the Clearances. Here's a poem I wrote about the Clearances


  2. Anonymous1:57 AM

    Beth, I too am pleased to have found your blog. Thanks for visiting mine. I loved this poem.

    I'm ashamed that I had to use Wikipedia to look up the Clearances. I've just finished a course on post-colonial literature and my special project was on Irish poet, Nuala Ni Dhomnaill's 'Fifty Minute Mermaid'. It's interesting that you also focus on mermaids and I look forward to reading your poems. My reading of Ni Dhomhnaill's merfolk were that they were the Irish Gaelic speakers wiped out by death and emigration at the time of the Famine. I'm English with an Irish grandfather which partly explains my interest in Ireland.

    Good luck with your novel.