robert dickerson

Shelling - Poem by robert dickerson

You must rise up early in the morning
before the day is on
when the sea has slid from the shores
lying tidily croup-ed on the horizon
like the sheets at your feet in the morning
before you have made the bed
before the turtles ship their oars
to lay their eggs in pain and dread.

There you will find them wrinkling
the luscious nap of sand
smoothed by the seas' retreat
even to the horizon
half-sunk, pinkly and whitely winking
thrown upon the strand
studding the sand like the stars at night
adorn the heavenly skein.

And if you have gone to bed early
that you might earlier wake
before the partiers and revelers, surely,
you will find the prize you seek:
the strew of shells, the seas' largess
cast up in all its fruitfulness
and cast up, quite, to gather freely
in your handkerchief or dress.

Freely dead, devoid of life
but full of craft and naturally designed
to range upon the windowsill
and in their chambered architecture find
rooms filled with sorrow and surcease of grief
ordered, much as any child will,
and in the evening listen to them till
you hear the echoes of eternity.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 26, 2010

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