My Unfortunate Fate

If you happened to be in either Twing Sharjah or The Untitled Chapter’s event “The Reading” Then you must be familiar with Shamma K Al Bastaki and her poems, especially her mermaid poem that she recited in both events. We are thrilled to post it on the site as part of our September theme “Battles” as it is basically about the internal battle this mermaid faces, torn between her sense of duty and desire.

My lips brush the waterline

I scrutinize the humans ashore

They look so exuberant

Quite the opposite of my heart’s core

I wish I were fully human, like them

I wish I owned legs and feet

For I’ve grown bored of my iridescent tail

Being half-human half-fish is not sweet

Being a mermaid is not all that fun

So many dangers lurk in the sea

A human is a mermaid’s biggest threat

If exposed, we’d never be set free

What I’m doing is devastatingly dangerous

My heart pounds hard in my chest

My beauty would give me away if they saw me

I feel as though I’m amidst a test

Challenging myself to view them up close

Then retreating in guilt and fear

Should I follow my heart’s desires?

Should I depend upon it to steer?

Or should I play it safe?

Do what’s right and return?

My father is probably furious now

And my mother drowning in concern

You see, I’m no ordinary mermaid

I’m Pearliana, Princess of the sea

Daughter of King Nyxx and Queen Irene

I’m heir to the throne, the queen-to-be

I am sadly an only child

And have a duty to work for

If that weren’t the case I’d have

Gladly swum out the palace door

I can’t get rid of this endless fascination

With those humans, they’re so surreal

It’s not the first time I’ve snuck past the guards

For those humans’ stunning appeal

But I know I have to get back

Before the horizon paints the sky

I never desired a dire destiny of such

I take a last look and leave with a doleful sigh

Author: Shamma K Al Bastaki


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