The Nymph sat before her golden loom
in a cave the size of a grand cathedral,
with ivy clinging to the damp walls
and a floor bestrewn with rose petals
that never crinkled up
or lost their enticing fragrance.
Her hair was gold as the Sun
which shines most brilliantly
just before the Maidens of the West draw him down
with the chains of their beguiling song.
Her skin was like the polished tusk of a boar,
hanging in some great Lord’s feasting hall,
where warriors chant songs of ancestral glory
and prepare for the hunt.
Keen eyes she had, small and well-placed;
you’d think they were a woman’s eyes
until you realized they reflected no light or double image back,
but hungrily drew all into them,
never blinking.
The man, her husband these last seven years
– or was it five,
or just one?
Time seemed to run at a different pace on this island,
especially when they were together in their wedding bower –
knew every inch of her well,
how cold, how inhuman the heart of her was.
He remembered
when first he woke storm-tossed upon her shore
and she was gazing down upon him, smiling
a predator’s greedy smile.
“Your eyes are open,” she said,
voice like a hand stroking his manhood
as he stirred early in the morn.
“And you see them.”
Unsteadily he raised his head and scanned the horizon
and there were strange shapes scurrying here and there
before disappearing into the twilight gloom once more.
He could tell, even from the sandy shore, that
when he saw them, they were seeing him too.
The man began to shiver
and so she took off her fleecy shawl
and draped it round his rugged shoulders
and frame nearly skeletal from hunger.
A soft, pale, and cold finger
traced the web of scars that covered his body,
and she kissed him and said,
“You shall want for nothing, my husband, my man.”
Now those lips were pursed, her perfect brow creased
as she studied the tapestry which hung from her loom
gleaming yellow in the dark.
She had weaved a man
drawing back a taut bow string
as he aims for the double head of a mighty axe.
She knew not what the scene meant
nor did the man sitting beside her,
trying to hold back tears of wanderlust and remorse,
lest they fall into his ambrosial cup.
“I like not this strange rune,” said Kalypso of the lovely hair.
“I think it means a miserable end for its intended,
and much blood shed.”