• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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Collective Noun for Mermaids

I once looked up the collective noun for mermaids and found that gossip was one.

a gossip of women sitting on the rocks,
talking of mortals they have loved
of abalone combs and
shell shaped jewels from the ocean’s deep
telling secrets of a shiny tail
and how to stop shedding scales…
so ageing…

a gossip of women in the hot tub at the gym
their stories all the same
fashion tips and beauty secrets
and talk of Love Island, though none
have known the red hot sex they see on
those small screens…
such gossip…

a gossip of women half-human-half-creature
hugging seals, stroking squid and octopus,
fearing sharks and sharp harpoons,
those women, always trying,
always drying their hair without
the aid of moose…
or conditioner…


Collective Noun for Mermaids

we don’t embrace the image of the gossip,
scold or destructive force it draws,
we think of nurture, bonding and
the grace of female friends, supporting
confidantes and comrades,
not rivals, never judging, soaking …
in the calming waters…