Greenburgh Arts And Culture

         "We celebrate the creative arts!"

Sarah Bracey White, Executive Director. Advisory Board: Linda Beres, Gwen Cort, Margaret Fox, Anne Gordon and Carolyn McNair


Featured Caravan Poet: Marjorie Mir


Image by Rebecca Fitzpatrick

              The Selchie    by Marjorie Mir

An islander like themselves,

they had seen her before,

basking on the harbor rocks,

swimming in this cove,

home waters to them all.

Now they see a stranger,

a half-grown, slender girl,

naked like themselves.

She sits looking down at them

as they play,

cousins. friends since earliest times.

Beside her lies the heap

of their discarded shirts and shorts.

Her own, just shed, lies wrinkled

at her feet.

She watches, studying

their movements, moving

her own new arms and legs

in imitation, then

makes her way, uncertainly

down the rocky ledges

to join them in their play.

“A summer visitor,” they guess.

Afterward, hurrying into

sun-warmed clothes,

racing toward cottages

and breakfast, only one,

the last and youngest,

sees the unclaimed silver pelt,

looks back for her,

will always in this place,

in years to come, look for her.

Like Ondine, like Yeats’ silver trout

turned blossom-crowned,

elusive girl, she had escaped

the bonds of story, found the rift,

if only briefly, between myth and mortal.

Where to look for her? Not here,

not on this island.

She belongs again to the poets,

the story-tellers, the ancient liars

who will happily lead you astray.

Look for her, if you dare,

but be wary of the fog

that comes in suddenly,

hiding the paths, obscuring the ledges.

No, she is not that cairn or boulder,

fallen branch.

The sound you hear of barking laughter

comes from the ones who know.

Their skins, like anoraks,

proof against all weathers,

all but summer’s Dulce Domum call

to plunge weightless in its waters,

play a little while with mortals,

then vanish into legend

still courting all pursuit.


       Islands   by Marjorie Mir

I am drawn to them
in books, in memory
one much visited,
small, habitable, easily traversed,
remembered, rediscovered,
the mingled smells
of sea and soil.

They may rise up
from the seabed of sleep,
from restless origins,
defiant cliffs transmute
to gentling foothills,
village yards.

Fixed in time
or changing hourly,
weather always the one
most wished-for,
the season chosen for its gifts,
its special gifts: the silenced wood,
the yielding soil, new grass,
wild apples, signalling
their readiness.

They are encompassed
and mutable, known
and revelatory,
exist nowhere, and endure
as air endures, as salt.