shell by Martin Porter

his father unfolded the concertina
map, laying it in dunes on the table
he googled it, name in box, click
of a button, eyes on the screen
and zoomed in to see

every grain of sand,
a hermit crab caught, mid-
scuttle,

the met report told them it was
comfortable yesterday
comfortable today and
it will be…

i gently rest my finger on the sand,
raise it to my face, observe
the Single Fragment of Shell adhered
and rub it, abrasively, across my open palm

.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “shell by Martin Porter

  1. Very visceral. I really like this, specially how people are not capitalized.

    • Martin

      Thanks, its good to get feedback that techniques are recognised as well as the nerrative and language. I was careful to capitalise only the Single Fragment of Shell, because it is the only reality in this poem. (I also tried to give it movement and an ethereal quality by omitting any full stops, but that’s a different story).

  2. love the curve this takes from technology (the screen, the map), to the direct touch of sand. such a beautiful ending image “across my open palm”

  3. I agree with Dorothee, that ending stays with me.

  4. mid-scuttle is a wonderful image, as is the sand across the palm. it seems that there is quite a bit of subtext in this piece. it seems to simmer.

    • Martin

      Many thanks for the comment. I would be interested to hear where the simmering takes you. I love the dialogue between a writer and the audience – its what makes the totality of a work.

  5. Pingback: Week #45 – Broken shells | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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