Kathleen Jessie Raine

(14 June 1908 – 6 July 2003 / London / England)

Shells - Poem by Kathleen Jessie Raine

Reaching down arm-deep into bright water
I gathered on white sand under waves
Shells, drifted up on beaches where I alone
Inhabit a finite world of years and days.
I reached my arm down a myriad years
To gather treasure from the yester-milliennial sea-floor,
Held in my fingers forms shaped on the day of creation.

Building their beauty in three dimensions
Over which the world recedes away from us,
And in the fourth, that takes away ourselves
From moment to moment and from year to year
From first to last they remain in their continuous present.
The helix revolves like a timeless thought,
Instantaneous from apex to rim
Like a dance whose figure is limpet or murex,
cowrie or golden winkle.

They sleep on the ocean floor like humming-tops
Whose music is the mother-of-pearl octave of the rainbow,
Harmonious shells that whisper forever in our ears,
The world that you inhabit has not yet been created.


Comments about Shells by Kathleen Jessie Raine

  • John Pendrey (9/13/2016 2:19:00 AM)


    Sometimes poems seem 'difficult' but she explains.
    Harmonious shells that whisper forever in our ears,
    The world that you inhabit has not yet been created.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: rainbow, dance, ocean, music, mother, beauty, sleep, water, world, sea, alone, beach



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]