Enquiry La Sirena Poem

Images of La Sirena

Many thanks to our good friend, Dominic Tetrault, who recently came across these wonderful sirens, drawn by Robert Desnos – and has kindly shared them with us, at La Sirena.

‘Sirena (mermaid) teaching singing to a bird’ (Robert Desnos)
‘Sirena (mermaid) teaching singing to a bird’ (Robert Desnos)

Source for both images: Jacques Doucet literary library –

The siren is an important figure in Desnos’s work and life. Here is one of several poems featuring sirens.

His partner and second great love, the artist, Youki (Lucie Badoud) was also associated with the siren, which she had tattooed on her thigh.

Poem – ‘Mermaid’ (1930), taken from ‘The Voice of Robert Desnos: Selected Poems’, Translated by William Kulik, The Sheep Meadow Press (Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York, 2004).
Youki Desnos showing her mermaid tattoo (Robert Doisneau, Paris c.1950)
Enquiry La Sirena

Images of La Sirena

Our dear friend, Christine Haller, recently tracked down this rather marvellous siren by Myrlade Constant, in Venice, at the Biennale.

‘Sirenes’ (detail) (Myrlande Constant, 2020)
‘Sirenes’ (Myrlande Constant, 2020)
Enquiry La Sirena

Images of La Sirena

Our very good friend, Irene Plazewska, kindly shared this wonderful image with us.

‘Mermaid’s Washing’ (Irene Plazewska)
Enquiry La Sirena

Images of La Sirena

Our dear friend, John Welson, has discovered another siren: ‘Wired and waiting. I called out to her, but her gaze was fixed upon the ocean, the rolling waves and turning tide…’

‘The Wired Mermaid of Llandudoch’ (John Welson)
‘The Wired Mermaid of Llandudoch’ (John Welson)
Enquiry La Sirena

Images of La Sirena

Mélusine (one of the pictures from the series Les sept épées hors du fourreau in homage to Apollinaire) painted in 1957 oil on canvas, 150 x 50 cm, Private Collection) Toyen
Article Enquiry

‘La Sirena Surrealist Group’

An article by La Sirena featuring in IMAGINE Vol. 2 (May 11, 2022).

Article Enquiry Poem

‘How Much Longer?’ by La Sirena

Poem and collages by La Sirena featuring in the fifth issue of Surrealerpool’s magazine, ’Patastrophe! (27 May 2022).

How Much Longer?

The torn map reveals the ghosts of the city 

Dreams of protesting with the Russian pacifists

Pleased with war’s dreadful and tumultuous roar

The locomotive has taken them nowhere 

Roll the dice and take your turn

The sunflower smiles through the blood of the rubble to greet the new day

He who cannot play chess only uses brutality

Butterfly children slaughtered by noblemen in the city 

Sugar the petrol, sell your guns and hide

The children roar in wild tears until they cry themselves to sleep

Ghosts should rise up to drag the warmonger to hell!

The desert queen serves the mad king 

The mad king is distended

Avenging strife embitters human life

What is invisible will light up the sky in incandescent colours

The doll child hides in East Budleigh 

Ivan Bilibin and Pushkin should curse the mad king to hell

A chorus of war cries from behind keyboards far from harm

The alchemy of dreaming heals the broken hearts 

Screams and curses across myriad media apps

Karkhiv can never sleep, can only dream of peace, can only endure in the hearts and minds of those who will carry hope to the highest mountains for all to see

A half-hearted re-enactment of old mistakes, but with real deaths

Extra points for the grim reaper for taking the mad king

Workers and refugees captured and tortured in a celluloid prison 

The young woman took her revolver to bed and was prepared to use it

Inferno awaits the mad king

The boys in the field are bored, or afraid or just excited by the game

My son is missing an eye and my mother’s wing has been ripped 

Dante should pull him down there

Inevitable as a pub brawl at closing time, last orders called

The imaginary letter, Z, doesn’t exist in Russian. Neither should the mad king

The inferno takes them all to his heart until they march to the beat of the war drums, the death drums, the holocaust drums

No one is leaving until we find out who really started it

Every embrace is a sign of hope, of defiance

Where are the angels now? 

The wind blows the shards of the silent mirrors across their broken faces and captures their death throes for all to see

A world left blind and toothless by the law of revenge

We suffocated on steam that turned into locks of human hair 

The mad king of antiquity belongs in the past, not now

We run and burn and fall and run over and over again

And midnight trembled to see such terrors 

The fighting leaves old men deformed in the streets 

May Baba Yaga escort the mad king to hell

A stain upon another generation, damned to repeat the whims of their rabid masters

All of this just to reset the board for the next time

Blood stained the monochrome city of ashes

We, the invisible demand to be heard even if we cannot be seen

May the liar choke on his lies

She hung up the remnants of shame like a ventriloquist’s flag for all to see

Criminals jostle to steal the clothes and words of the famous dead

The mad king is fragile, just like a chess king. And like a chess king, I want to throw him to the ground

The war is fought by actors and actresses, not by women and children

Who pays the price?

We bleed


How much longer?

Collective poem by Doug Campbell, Taya King, Daina Kopp and Darren Thomas

Enquiry La Sirena

Images of La Sirena

Dream of mermaids. 1963. Folding Triptych 3 Panel. Carved wood, metal hinges and oil on canvas mounted on wood panels. Leonora Carrington.
Enquiry La Sirena

Images of La Sirena

Our dear friend and comrade, John Welson, shared this poem and image, along with the following message:

“I have found another mermaid/merman/merperson drawing from 1978 this time. The title on the rear is in fact a short poem and reads:

Tide turned
cut loose
waters wept
blade admonished
fin glimpsed
Tide turned

beneath the waves

As always, we urge siren spotters everywhere to continue sharing their research findings with us at

Enquiry La Sirena

Images of La Sirena

Our good friend, John Welson, kindly shared the following siren images with us, and I include his original commentary: “In 1969/70 I painted this painting (in two different versions):

Whilst it acquired the title of, ‘Drama in the Paddock’ having just found an old photo of the work I see that on the rear of the photograph it had a different title, for back then I titled it, ‘The Time of the Mermaid’.

I revisited the theme a couple of times in later years.

in 1976…
and finally in 1982.

I thought I would share this with you.

Warmest greetings to you all.
In friendship.”