RELEASING SEALS

She sells sea-shells on the seashore,
Seals seek sanctuary on the seashore.
Seals seek shelter on the seashore,
Seals seek sanctuary on the seashore.
He collects stones on the seashore
He sees seals on the seashore
He saves seals on the seashore.

Last Sunday a lobsterman at Bulloch,
The sun beating on the harbour,
Told me over forty seals
Live together on Dalkey Island
A rookery, a pod, a colony a herd

Last winter
Not one
But two pups escaped from the island
Washed high and dry
By the storm tossed seas
An endangered species
Drowning on dry land
Saved from the stones
By a good and kindly gentleman
A sealer of sorts
Harpoonless
Offering love and sanctuary

Were they Sea-fairies
Come ashore to find a human mate
Come ashore to cast off their skins
And sing and dance like men and women
Until daybreak
Until at dawn they dress again in sealskins
And return to the deep?

For now months later
They return to the sea
God speed your swimming
God speed your release

Never forget the kindness
The sanctuary
That you found here
On the seashore

Seals and shores will meet, will not meet
Will touch, will not touch.

But will always reach out for one another.

Copyright Gary Jermyn, 28 March 2003