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Mermaid’s Hair

An original, previously unpublished poem by renowned Yorkshire love poet Ian Parks.


Mermaid’s Hair

By Ian Parks

In the lull before the storm

I took my lover by the arm

to see the mermaid’s hair

that floated smooth and aqueous

over the pebbles of the weir.

We were no more than seventeen

and soon, I knew, she’d have to go –

but I was glad to have her there,

slipping hot feet from her shoes

to let the long strands swirl and streak

her ankles green on white.

There were dragonflies that summer

and they darted all about us

as she untangled her numbed feet

and rested them on the scorched stones to dry.

There was the future in the moment

and in those wet prints as they disappeared

the first poems of my life.


Did you love Mermaid's Hair? Don't miss our Insider Interview with Ian Parks.

Described by Chiron as 'the finest love poet of his generation', award winning poet Ian Parks has published eight collections, performed many writing residencies and taught aspiring poets at five British universities, including Oxford.

Imagery by Zou Meng via Unsplash


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