old stories told of such creatures

half human and half beast

luring ships onto the rocks and pulling sailors down into the drink 

the selkie had seen men before 

fled from their fishing hooks and their spears and mattocks

in them days seals was hunted for their oil and hides

clubbed to death and made into coats

it was said that whoever could capture the hide of a selkie

would have her in their power to command as they would

cén fath go bhfuil cota leathar i bhfolach ag m'athair sa díon

why does father hide a leather coat in the roof

as he was rowing home, he was followed by a solitary seal

it seemed joyous in its movements, it rolled and dived within the waves

joyous in the sleekness of its body

its eyes, as with all its kind, held a sadness as deep as the soul

for once a selkie finds her skin again

neither chains of steel nor chains of love can keep her from the sea

 

the creature

it using water in a rusted oil drum as a mirror

it putting on she skin, syrup sounds and soft snaps

it gloving on she fingers when she roll she eyes

the soucouyant

slip out of their skins at night and travel about as 

glowing balls of flames. a tall, handsome

yellow woman who lures unsuspecting gluttonous men

into her home with the promise of good food

she spun her entire skin off of her body as easy

as the shucks off an ear of corn

at night she'll hunt out a victim and suck his blood 

as he sleeps

she did start to sing for her skin to come back to she 

old skin, kin, kin

you na know me,

you na know me

 

 

 

installation 16" x 30." digital prints, print transfer on acrylic medium (text from film “The Secret of Roan Inish” by John Sayles & book "Soucouyant" by David Chariandy). 2014.