Half-Dreams of Siren Songs by Johnathan Reid



Johnathan Reid is a Hampshire writer and poet who put creative pen to paper only four decades after winning a school English prize. Between those milestones he attempted to be a pilot, a doctor and a library cataloguer, but was lured into government sanctioned drugs and corporate computing. Happier communing with nature more than most people, both inspire his poetry and prose. His contactable parts are indexed under ‘reiditwrite’.






















Half-Dreams of Siren Songs










Seenaawii-Teacher is reaching her Song’s crescendo. Drawing a final breath, she descends to conclude her many-Rise lesson. Her calf nuzzles her flank, still listening attentively, imprinting the Song’s story within itself, while breathing in double-time and feeding at will.

A stream of glittering bubbles escapes her nostrils as she presses her tongue against food-squeezed plates, twisting her body to admit both the Dark and the Light into her eyes. She focuses on her Taught voice, concentrating both her thoughts and the crescendo’s first Note as it passes through her Tonal body.

The Note surges out of her like hungry Cousins hunting the Shallows, giant bone and scarred skin transparent to its passion and beauty. Sweet and plaintive, it is a Note for the surviving thousands, moulded by millions before. Now modulated by countless Lifeclouds as its pulsing energy sweeps through the expectant Benthos.

She had earlier felt the interleaves of warmth in this Green. Her voice would travel far, its resonant waves thrumming through the eye-dead Deeps; echoing under the brighter Whites. The Choir is listening throughout its diffusion. It is always listening. Meaning he might come. No, he will – she is sure of it. Her siren singing is irresistible, no matter what Teaching it conveys. Their decades of joyslapped reunions – diving, feeding, rising; intertwining in blow-bubbled Slippings – prove his devotion.

This Flowtime, her life’s focus has bathed in expressing white-milked love for her new son. But her love of Song exceeds even this obligation. It must, for all of their sakes. For without Songs and their Notes there is only the lonely, prescient terror of the Silence.

The Others can listen now – cowardly Top-floating in their Lesser-breathing carcasses. Attached to snaking weeds, their tiny, forked bodies emit ignorant bubbles; their sounds ever more incoherent and voluble. Seenaawii-Singer will never call their destructive cacophony a Song. Their smaller minds, eerily similar but devoid of Notes, will never understand the glorious, ancient sounds permeating through the eternal Blues and Greens. If their foolish ignorance really is the sin our many-Turn elders sing to us, then why are our Songs being cast into the Silence?

Her concluding Note thrums outward, organs resonating with her Teaching’s strong but subtle waves of imparted knowledge and Deep-mixed emotions. She stills her great body above the eternal abyss, waiting for the coda’s full form to reach the dispersed Choir. To reach him. Her calf stays silent beside. He is learning.

From half a Turn away, pushing through the cluttered Other-dimmed noise, comes his response. Their son hears it too, thrusting ahead of her in happy reflex, singing its small, sweet Notes. It’s a good sign, another reason to hope, and her half-dreaming will be warmed by memories of their Turns together.

Seenaawii-Mother flexes her body to Rise once more in a joyful, celebratory finale. Faster this time, she releases spent solids to feed the Bottom and a cloud of dead-breath bubbles to moisten the Top. The fluid Green presses harder against her skin, flexing her flukes as she accelerates into the Blue. It feels good and she kicks her vast tail again, to ensure all of her will greet the Light. She breaches the Top in a glory of White, inhaling deeply the dryness and heat of the Lesser, her body twisting easily in its thin fluid.

As the roiling, fizzing crash-blanket of Blue engulfs her return, a new Note manifests within her, a blending of both her clean-current joy and rock-bottomed sadness. It Sings only to her, offering itself up to her Teaching. She can sense the latent mysteries within this unbidden gift, feel an enticing urge to examine it. If it proves worthy, she will mould this Note into its Toned siblings, forging a new, yet familiar Teaching. For a Song should never die, even if the last of its Choir sinks into the Deep, into the eternal Silence.


Johnathan Reid