fireplace cinders

Passion. Love. Deception. Heartbreak. Such are the themes of the Norse & Celtic legends of the selkies, also referred to as silkies or selchies. Originating in the northern Scotland isles, a selkie is a being who is a seal in the water, shedding their sealskin to become a human on land. My Irish relatives never really differentiated between selkies or mermaids, as they considered the myths basically the same story. If you have not heard it, there is a beautiful Shetland ballad, “The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry.” The band Solas covers a rendition in their song “The Grey Selchie.” Gorgeous and sad.

Come listen to a sensual, timeless narration of this poem by my friend Simon Howard on Twitter.


  1. Aww so sad! 63 years since he last saw her? Did I read that right? He loved her with all his heart too. Anyway, I love the use of strong alliteration throughout the poem to help create images. Example: Sooty heat swims steady sweet, time’s terse torpid beat, shameless love suffused shared hearts. Loved the poem, as usual! πŸ™‚

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