Alcyone and Ceyx

by Diane Fahey

Diane Fahey

He tells her he must make a journey.
Against all her resistance, the idea
pulls him like a tide. He orders
the ship prepared, chooses the hour.
She watches the ship out of sight,
and longer; walks the shore each day
mesmerised by a sail on the horizon
constantly appearing, slipping back.
Months pass. She dreams of the ship
spinning inside tunnels of water,
men thrown like dice into the sea.
When it happens, they are almost home.
Ceyx swims to his last moment
of strength towards Alcyone, is carried
by waves to her feet. She falls,
spinning inside tunnels of water.
It is a fable — someone's well-meaning
dream — that the lovers are changed
into kingfishers, and nest on a sea
becalmed for seven days each year.
They are still lying there, clasped
between life and death, truth and dream.
Waves of wind and sea encircle them,
but cannot touch them, or move them.


Last updated January 14, 2019