woman's silouhette under water
Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

Mermaid Watcher by Sally Jackson

Forty million B.C.

The cities below the blue

were all gone.

The edge of their world

became the stories of air.

Her lover sank into the sand

until the blind crabs ate his bones.

She was the last to live below.

She disappeared into the green.

The memories she had

of cities in the deep:

languages of gold,

beings in the Blue

Who lived their lives of plenty

but couldn’t breathe the air.

She swam with dolphins in the deep.

They were her friends,

but they knew too

that they would stay

so she could leave.

She was the last to live below

and she knew it.

No swimming children anymore.

The giant lizards were all gone.

She was the last to live below.

They all had gone

for lack of hope.

She knew that life

changed like the tides.

She went to follow

to the caverns of the deep.

New Earth, new land, new light.

New paintings on cave walls.

Up in the shadows of new hills,

up in the air—and in the earth.

She was the last to live below.

She disappeared into the green.

She knew she’d never know a breath.

She disappeared into the green

where all her people went before.

They gladly gave up history,

but she just couldn’t give up hope

until there was no soul like hers

and she was all alone,

and so, finally,

she couldn’t stand it anymore.

She disappeared into the green

below the edge of her blue world

and let the dolphins lead her home

and speak her name among themselves.

The dolphins whisper her name still

and swim with people in her name.

They even touch them to remember

how it felt to feel her hand.

They only swim with people now

so they can remember her.


Sally Jackson writes: I am an actor. My day job for twenty five years was in casting "below-the-line" SAG actors for major motion pictures and television episodics that shot on locations outside of the Los Angeles/Hollywood area. It’s called "Location Casting". In between my casting jobs, I coached actors for film and television. Now that I am retired, I continue to coach actors here in Hawaii. (My last TV job was as "Madame Evanora" on the TV series, Magnum P.I.) I teach "Right Brain Method for Film". I am also a stand-up comedian. You can catch my act at one of the clubs in Honolulu. I have been writing through all of my life. I wrote poems when I was ten years old. On napkins and in notebooks I have always put down poetry, movie scripts, monologues for my students, jokes for my stand-up act, blogs and now I’m writing my book about my adventures in working for legends on major motion pictures.

Author's note

I'm a retired Casting Director for major motion pictures and television series and movies. These days I coach actors in "Method For Film" and do standup in the clubs here in Hawaii. I like to make people laugh, although you would never know it from my poem. When I wrote that poem I was sort of depressed. I felt that the magic had left my life. I was a national champion swimmer and really I wished I could have been a mermaid. Even today, I am an ocean, rough-water swimmer. The magic came back to me in my later years. I'm in Hawaii.