Aquarium Requium

November 20, 2011
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I heard a mermaid whisper.
Her pale fingers beckoned me through the
Watery cemeteries to
Caverns where melancholy mythical beings
Exist.

I heard a mermaid whisper,
And you laughed at me,
Because you were too busy
Stuffing your eardrums with
Rubber headphones.

I stretched out my fingers and bony arms
And pretended to have fins.
Pretended to breathe in the
Salty water
That gives life to those who
Have no other worries.

I heard a mermaid whisper,
And I tried to follow her
Into her caverns of airless space
But my lungs broke,
And I was forced to lie
Alone,
Instead of with the coral and abalone shells.

And I am amazed by -how the currents s keep throbbing,
Pulsating through seaweed and murmuring anemones-
I have never seemed to notice its
Majesty before.

I heard a mermaid whisper
And it broke my heart,
Because my muscles have now fully
Exhausted themselves from my attempt
To become a mermaid too.

A song beats in the underwater channels
And my heart has ingrained
The seaweeds rhythm into my own pulse.

I write the requiem of the aquarium
And find myself breathing to the rise and fall
Of the waves crashing on the shore.

I fell in love with the mermaids whisper,
And now I dance in lazy figure eights,
And walk as if I am still wading through the waves
Because my feet have forgotten about
Asphalt and pavement.

I heard a mermaids whisper,
And I wrote her a requiem.





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Myrtle25 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm
I love your use of language in this poem, it's gorgeous! I kind of have a similar question, though- why do you make reference to an aquarium- is that supposed to describe the way humans view the ocean? it didn't seem clear when most of the poem referred to it as the ocean. I think you could develop the idea of an aquarium more.
 
BonitaG replied...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Thank you! I wanted to take a more abstract view of the ocean by describing it as an aquarium because I think that when we think of the ocean, we are so easily enraptured by seeing the elementary things: sea, sky, waves, trees, and because of this, I thought it would be better to describe it as an aquarium, because we will always only have that surface view of the ocean. Like an aquarium where you look at fish, you can only ever get to a certain depth of understanding, and so by using the word "... (more »)
 
Myrtle25 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm
That's so cool! :) It's impressive how much thought you've put into this poem. I still think you could make your views of the ocean as "aquarium" more explicit in the poem itself, but I still love the whole thing.
 
starlightstarbright This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Maybe it's just me, but I picture a lonely girl who wants to dive into the ocean, escape her worries. And the "you" spoken about is a boyfriend or family member that cannot see past the latest gadget, etc.

 

 
swifthearth said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

if you could, please read and comment on some of my poems.

 

 
swifthearth said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 9:12 am
I could tell that you are a bieng of deep thinking, very intelligent and a mind full of creative ideas. I love your poems.
 
alex9426 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 12:42 am
I love this poem! The rhythm and the repetition are great. I just don't understand your use of the word "requiem". Is the mermaid dead? I also don't understand why you said "I write the requiem of the aquarium". Requiem means a mass for the dead. Is the aquarium dead too? I'm not trying to challenge or criticize, just understand. Could you explain it to me? Thanks and keep up the awesome writing!
 
BonitaG replied...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 8:11 am
Thanks so much for the constructive feedback! I love getting people to critique my writing, and so when you asked me about my choice for requiem I was happy about it. Don't stress. Okay, so my rationale for using the word requiem is that now the world views nature and the whole artsy environmental views as something that is sub-par. I mean, it is getting to be a bigger deal for some, but for the most part any zeal for saving the environment-and thus having to DO something like recycle or eat hea... (more »)
 
alex9426 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 8:47 am
OK, I get it. I really like your thinking behind that, and it's cool that you use that word that way!
 
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