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You can find them in the tourist shopsAuthor's Notes
and the little shacks along the beach --
silly charms that only children believe in
but people buy all the same.
Some are crude things carved from driftwood
or painted onto ceramic chips,
but others are exquisite works of art
done in tinted scrimshaw on sea monster bone.
Here is a snagtooth trapped in a net,
there a giant sea turtle speared on the beach.
A steam-powered ramship pierces a deathfin,
and a spring-wound cannon fires at a thunder-whale.
These images bind the sea monsters in effigy,
supposedly preventing them from harming the bearer,
a relic tradition from the time before the Empire
when the Duurludirj were beach-barbarians.
It's superstition, and everyone knows it,
but the charms sell anyway, and people wear them.
Restless fingers touch them, wearing them smooth,
as wary eyes watch and watch the deadly waters.
This poem came out of the May 2013 Muse Fusion. Sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.
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