I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

23 May 2014

This White Shell

This white shell
has whorls and curlicues
crinkling its rim,

and soon I fall
into childhood memories,
tracing them ...

I stand on the sand,
with the song of the ocean
held to my ear —

a hushed sound
as of waves in motion,
but muffled, far.

I'm four, I'm eight,
I'm nearly thirteen,
beside the sea

where I watch and wait
for the tide to turn
and rush to me.

But the white shell 
next to my face
sings me back in

with a tidal pull 
to this present place …
where lost girls drown.


For Poetic Asides Wednesday prompt: an object poemAlso submitted for dVerse Meeting The Bar At A Slantslant rhymes, aka half rhymes. This piece is a mixture of slant rhyme and full rhyme.

34 comments:

  1. Very clever use of rhyming here - I like this a lot. Combines the melody of full rhyme with the melancholy yearning of slant rhyme.

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    1. Thank you, Marina. That' a compliment to treasure!

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  2. Much more romantic and poetic than full rhyme!

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    1. Thanks, Viv, glad you experience it that way.

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  3. I too would love to hear the song of ocean, mesmerizing it is...................

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  4. The mixture of rhymes is quite wonderful here--it contributes to the echoing effect of the shell--a muting quality of the half-rhyme--it is a lovely poem generally--the sense of heard selves in the whorls of the shell. Thanks. k.

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  5. ah to be that age again and be by the sea....i love it...i miss the ocean...
    i need to get back there this summer...love me some shells to draw it close too...

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  6. Ah yes, when I hold one of those shells to my ear, I too am transported to my childhood days when I did this for the first time.....and was awed by the experience of it, even though I was standing far from the ocean in my aunt and uncle's living room!

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  7. ah, so reminded me of Gift From The Sea by Anne Lindbergh... and love the music of the sea... i placed a large container of shells in my sandbox for the grands... they've made beautiful shell castles... and we even heard the ocean in one... if for just a moment

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  8. i love this pull of the ocean, the pull of time wonderfully combined here...

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  9. Funny how all children enjoy pressing a sea shell to their ears to hear 'the sea', wherever they live. I also like how you ended your poem, back to harsh reality.

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    1. Yes, I'm glad you understood the ending. :)

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  10. Oh - that end hit quite hard ... Lovely walk along the Beaty of the shells.

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  11. Lost girls--only the ones within drown, I hope, and then, I hope, resurrect with each new shell. Haunting.

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    1. Yes, Susan, I was meaning the ones within. :)

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  12. I am a follower and acolyte of Neptune and this poem is so lovely... I sometimes feel like one of the lost girls myself. The song of the ocean helps me rejuvenate and recover every time. Magnetic prose and verse Rosemary!

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  13. nice... i love listening to the shells... the wind and waves in their womb sings so many awesome stories...

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  14. Live a 100 miles from the ocean, beside an inland sea (Puget Sound), & we travel to the ocean monthly; headed there next weekend. Maybe it just genetic, standing so close to our first home, before our amphibian lives, before our mammal lives--but the seas inside is serenaded by the real thing, & the negative ions are gulped like caviar. You poem was remarkable, nice use of the prompt.

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  15. This is a very evocative poem--deceptively simple, yet the experience comes through the linguistic telegraph precisely, clearly, yet lyrically. A great mix of rhymes as well.

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  16. I found more here in the second reading...simple yet deep..great use of slant form.

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  17. Wow the ending was unexpectedly intense for me. I loved the way you showed the passing of time:

    "I'm four, I'm eight,
    I'm nearly thirteen,
    beside the sea"

    I think I may be confused about the deeper meaning because I had a lighter feeling until the end but now I am wondering if the final line is a metaphor and not to be considered literal?

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Gretchen. I did mean that line metaphorically, not literally — meaning that we must re-submerge the inner child in coming back to the present.

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  18. I love the memories through the ages but the ending was unexpected to me with the lost girls drowning ~ Enjoyed your rhyming verses, smiles ~

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    1. It was a bit sudden, wasn't it? My lost childhood selves, consigned back to the unconscious.

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  19. You combined both so well, with a deft hand, nicely done!

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  20. Beautiful drag and pull to childhood visits to the sea

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  21. What a beautiful poem, dear Rosemary, thank you...

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  22. Many thanks to all for the comments; so glad you enjoyed this.

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  23. Powerfully evocative. That last line strikes with intensity.

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