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The Rider and the Sea Angel

On the sunny side of the compact mass of foam, wood and epoxy

Two howling eyes set the water surface ablaze parting sinewy currents

And crashing waves, arresting their unruly jamboree long enough

To catch another swirl of peach, gold, and deep emerald

Forming the luscious figure of a sea angel underneath.


The creature struggles to free itself under the sparks and whirls

Whipping colourless water into a pattern of silver lace, the prison bars

Keeping the thrifty form of loveliness trapped under its surface;

Poor mirror of sweetness struggling to maintain its shape intact

For the uninvited but very welcome visitor charging over.


Ethereal and fragile, the angelic face stares at him timidly;

Wedged between the violent waves seething above

And the cavernous shades of midnight blue below,

It stretches a longing gaze toward the warmth

Of the unbidden visitor’s hungry, blazing eyes.

“Ulysses and the Sirens” by Herbert James Draper, 1864-1920


Five long, nimble fingers marshal the powerful electric waves

Suddenly animated by ardent, working, breathing muscles

Steering bar, ropes, and wings in artificial tornado,

A choreography of flight, dance, and a mortal joust

Against the far mightier potencies of the eternal rave of the ocean.


Gracefully subduing the violence of the squalls to his command

Lulling the unruly waves into the invisible rail of the board’s air-path   

The gold-paved, diamond-laced physique stops breathless midair

And for a moment forgetting the perils of the blue swell pauses

To admire the angelic being emerging in the clearing of the surf.


Steadying the mass of mariner physique on the board rail,

The visitor lifts his deft fingers to rap back the echo

Of the gentle rhythms emanating from the ambrosial shape beneath

Beguiling in the simple dress of marine morning glory

As if to commit her pattern to memory before she dissolves and disappears.

Mark Heine, Resurrection, study
24″ X 48″ oil on canvas
available to buy at http://www.mheine.com/resurrection-study.html


Crown-less, love-less, and death-less in his marine bucolic innocence

Marshalling armies of spotless iridescent butterflies off the tips of the waves

The unwilling Narcissus struggles under the weight of his heart in the evening haze

Drowning his butterflies in an ocean suddenly grown vast and bottomless

Searching for one costly glimpse of the beloved shape, his mermaid.


Commanding water, wind, and sand away from her precious forms

Halting the brutal brush of time and nature off his sea lamb’s fair brow,

His unbound Herculean breast stirred to passion by her trembling for dear life

He listens to her siren song demanding the sweetest, highest prize:

the blaze-setting child grown king of butterfly shepherds’ self-sacrifice.


And he lets the song of his morning heart, grown stale with winter,

Fade and perish into the echo of the sea angel’s sweet spring lullaby

Richly promising the eternal triumphs of her costly shape

Against the treacherous wave and the sad passing of time,

The immortal starburst of her lettered countenance

Crowning the globe of his heart in her song forever

To teach us how lovers create each other

How butterflies shepherd their Shepherd.


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