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Water born

Written & illustrated by Phinnigan Whale


For my mothers

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


In the torrents of an angry storm, lightning reveals a woman's form, clutching her tight swollen nave. The ship is slammed by violent waves, the cabin heaves and sways. The sail rips, the rope frays. Her belly ripe with babes inside, Who wriggle and squirm under her hide. From bow to stern the ship buckles, her hands grasp with white knuckles, the railing which gives way and cracks, as the ship sinks under water black.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


The deluge rushes in beneath her bed, she feels the crowning of a head, her child arrives at a quicker pace, the water submerges the mother's face. Gasping for breath beneath heavy water emerges her silent newborn daughter. Mother clutching her breathless child, fights the currents strong and wild. her babe still joined by a flimsy cord. A mast snaps and cracks the deck-board. The mother swims through the galley and helm, while the ship plummets to a deeper realm.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


With brief light from the storm above, she sees her daughter, her little dove, awake and calm as if still in her womb beneath the waves in the sinking tomb. The mother escapes the wet pal-mal through an upside down shattered hull. as she pushes off the sinking ship's bow her second child slips out somehow. She grapples for him anguished, he's swept away with school of fish.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


At the surface mother gasps for air, but the pain is too hard to bare. Breathing in the electric atmosphere she leaves her children here and drifts away as her life fades, leaving her twins for the mermaids. Her son adopted by tribes of fishes, her daughter surrenders to the sea's wishes. The baby girl wriggles and swims, with the tides every whim. Until she is lifted by a wave into a shallow rocky cave.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


The tide retreats and she is left, within a sheltered tidal cleft. she bobs within the tidal pool while her skin begins to cool. In a heavy wet habit Miriam wades, she a young nun who was forbade, to leave the cloister at night, no matter what the plight.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


There a little water-baby sleeping, Bum-cheeks above the water peeping. Miriam lifts the baby girl from the sea, the babe coughs and breathes-in heavily. There among the silent dead, the baby turns her small head, challenging the thunderous sky, whimpers and then lets out a cry.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Miriam overwhelmed by this miracle, kneels on shell and barnacle, to thank the virgin mother & child for saving from the sea so wild, this small delicate water born girl, a miraculous gift, a sacred pearl. Within her habit Miriam bundles up the little naked selkie pup, and climbs the cliffs to the cloister, braving jagged fossilized oysters.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


And there under the little chapel's roof, Miriam provides evident proof, of the tragedy and the glory, of this unusual story. The other pious nuns stand around, there on hollowed ground, with respect they payed the little miracle mermaid.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


The little mermaid was praised, to be by the Virgin mother's raised, from the sea and from the brink of death, to whisper a message from God's breath. Yet the mermaid never learned to speak, not so much as a whisper left her cheek. She reached womanhood silent and mute, but to the sounds of the oceans forever astute.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Until one day at high noon, she looked at the rising moon, and announced to the superior mother, that she was going to return to her twin brother. Shocked and dismayed by her gentle words, the Mother Superior replied "don’t be absurd!" but Miriam knew this day would arrive when her marine-ward would dive, back into the ocean din, to find her beloved kin.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


That night a storm began to brew, and the mermaid knew, that this was the time she had waited for, to see her family once more. Miriam walked with her in the moonlight, and tried not to cry with all her might.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


The mermaid embraced her with an excited sigh, as they stood beneath the ominous night sky. And with a sudden and quick leap, she disappeared , beneath the deep.

The end‌..

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


and a new beginning.

Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009


Copyright Š Dylan McGarry December 2009

Profile for Dylan McGarry

Water Born  

A illustrated story by Phinnigan Whale (Copyright Dylan McGarry March 2011)

Water Born  

A illustrated story by Phinnigan Whale (Copyright Dylan McGarry March 2011)

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