July 25thWe see children with their sand shovels and pails digging for “treasure.”  They are collecting seashells. Write a seashell poem. Write about the former inhabitant of that shell. Maybe a collecting poem. Get it together and write your poem.



July 24 – Sunburn/Suntan (Rondeau)

July 23 – Romance

July 22 – A Million Fish in the Sea

July 21 – Muscle Beach/Bikini Beach

July 20 – Just Another Day In Paradise


  1. SHELLS (Haibun)
    Full of life, bubbling in the sand, caught and carried loft to fall and crack on a beach rock. Emptied and left by sedated sea gull, it sets suspended in a trail of spent seaweed waiting to ride the waves or be gathered by children building dream castles in the sand.

    Former tidy home
    of a peaceful, quiet clam
    now empty of life.


    The horseshoe crab is squat and drab,
    as sexy as an old sanddab,
    but lots of shorebirds love to nab

    its eggs. They eat this shoreline feast
    on beaches strewn throughout the east
    and gorge themselves, to say the least.

    If the crabs go, the birds will be shells of their former selves.

    copyright 29131, William Preston


    I come to this shore daily.
    This gaily appointed place
    shall remember my face
    as another fool who took control
    of his metered soul.
    The prizes that catch my eye
    are striking, and hiking
    amongst this finery astounds.
    Sifting through the sands
    that time has placed to hide
    the treasures of words held sacred,
    placates my heart. I start to find
    the sheer beauty presented
    as pearls of wisdom and poetic
    perfection. Uncovering shells,
    each differently opulent,
    and sent to this place to grace
    my shore. We’ve come together
    to gather to our hearts, words
    of a soulful bent. Sharing the emotion
    of these caring hearts left to carry on
    until loving waters cast them asunder.
    It’s no wonder I collect poems in the
    beautiful iridescence of their expression;
    I come to this shore daily.


    When a whimbrel is poised
    to commence with its labor
    and its bill is deployed
    like a sensuous sabre,

    its innocuous guise
    and the trust of its stab
    bring surprise to the eyes
    of a crusty old crab.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  5. Life’s a Beach: Collecting Seashells

    “The Conch Shell”

    Listen to the sea:
    rare, clock-wise is his turning.
    Timelessness, his breath.

    (the conch that has a right-hand turn is more rare than the left)


    from faraway
    places make me wonder:
    will some life be torn asunder
    this day?

    copyright 2013, William Preston


    I find expressed, in every book,
    a certain phrase or certain look

    that brings to life a former time
    or sings again a salient rhyme,

    each poised, like flowing mountain streams,
    to spur my mind or loose my dreams;

    to bring another world to me
    where possibilities yet might be.

    My book collecting never ends;
    I think of it as gathering friends.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  8. One Bucket

    Sibling rivalry melted away…
    bodies crouched,
    hair dangling,
    they shared each and every find
    before placing them carefully
    in the bucket –
    collecting shells.

  9. Shells

    Shells at the seashore or by the lake –
    Holding them in the palm of her hand,
    Each one so carefully…
    Lingering over every detail, as if
    Learning to become a master craftsman of

  10. Pingback: Story Held | Metaphors and Smiles

  11. Story Held
    A muted drum
    beat to keep
    rhythm of the heart
    as he speaks
    slow and steady,
    relating their story
    he pauses as tears pool
    glint of illumination,
    passion in memories;
    peace treaties
    passing of chief-hood
    they’re all here.
    Signs upon symbols
    language of their people
    written into conch
    design of quahog
    and pattern of cockleshell;
    their oratory history.
    The fire glistens
    upon ivory
    lighting brilliant purple,
    they shine with a glow.
    Shells carved
    sanded and
    carefully quartz drilled
    strung by the thousands
    woven into a wide belt;
    their story-telling tool.
    With his chest proud
    he looks into eyes
    the younger generation
    as he passes the telling on to them.
    He remembers himself as they are,
    intently listening
    with deep respect
    to the story held
    in the wampum.
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  12. So long Seashell

    How could I shake thee? Brake thee?
    Little shell, little royalty. Abandon thy tubiformity? Not.
    I’ll spare you of my collection.

    Encased, embraced in subtle darkness;
    You happily abide within the shadow of your covering.
    I’m glad you’re free from the weight of this Sun and bullish ray,
    Its quite treacherous on this Sun drawn day you know. Raining heavy light everywhere you turn with inescapable ray. But you, seashell, can remain hidden under the canopy of your dwelling. Tis the wisdom of the maker I suppose.

    Say seashell, aren’t you lonely? By yourself all the time?

    Of course you’re not. The ever expanding sea of sand is your abundant companion, encompassing your every move, angle, groove. Every mottled grain stands by you.

    You’re blessed.

    I respect you.

    So long seashell…

  13. Pingback: Seaside Treasures | echoes from the silence

  14. I’m still tinkering with rhyme, but maybe it wants to be blank verse.

    Sea Song

    I’m off to gather posies on the beach
    plucked up by waves and hurled onto the sand.
    I’ll take a cup or plastic bag along
    and try to beat the early risers there.

    I’ll take a look at yesterday’s supply
    left on the patio where they can dry.
    I’ll keep the special ones and cull the rest,
    returning them for someone else to find.

    The angel wings, the conchs, spirals, and clams—
    assorted mobile homes no longer used–
    lie puddled waiting for a renter’s eye
    and some house crabs who know good real estate.

    Each has a pattern, like a tapestry,
    each creature a designer, artist, skilled
    in building homes of beauty, even wrecked.
    They don’t have thumbs, but they are architects.

    Where do they get their eye for such outcomes,
    these tiny slimy workmen once inside?
    This conch, did he know warp and weft, innate,
    that he wove shell’s exterior so fine

    for other creatures of the sea and me?
    Inside where he abides, the coils of walls
    are sanded ‘til they shine, pink as a lip;
    the passageways grow smaller to the core,

    the first room that he built when he was young.
    His memories all glow mother-of pearl
    inside the labyrinth that is his past,
    and as he eats what oceans offer him,

    he takes their songs of all that is the sea,
    of voices singing caught forever there,
    a music chamber, high fidelity.
    Listen where the shell’s mouth opens out.

    Now close your eyes and give yourself to sounds
    for ears to hear and answer deeper calls,
    for eyes to see in all humility,
    for thoughts to picture waves upon the sea,
    for hearts to wonder at a thing so small.

    • “Listen where the shell’s mouth opens out.”

      or (pentameter) “to listen where the shell’s mouth opens out.. (I know this is nitpickin’ but was the only non pentameter line and it stopped me in my tracks.

      • You’re right about that line, JC. At first, I put “Here,” before it as if I were passing it along to the reader, but subsequently took it out, because, as you say, it slaps a little as a trochaic line among iambs. The trochaic line forces readers to take responsibility for hearing…or so it seemed to me. Should I put that “here” back in there? Thanks for your great notes.

        • Yeah, Put the “here” back in. Why, ? because as a reader, I have become accustomed to “hearing” the iambic. Then, suddenly the line STOPS me from moving forward. Know what I mean? My concentration is broken and I am no longer”in” the poem… if that makes sense.

    • I am enthralled in this; read it several times. It is tender, yet the conclusion is majestic. For all that, my favorite line is , “They don’t have thumbs, but they are architects.”

      • An addendum: I usual;l;y blank out at blank verse because it seems not to sound good; it doesn’t sing. Not this time, though.

        • Robert Frost was the master of blank verse; boy, what he could do with iambic pentameter in his conversational tones. He made it sing (like in “Birches” or “Death of a Hired Man”).
          When you do a lot of blank verse, your whole thought process and way of talking becomes iambic pentameter, like humming the same song all day ;). Thanks as always for your keen eye, Bill.

  15. Drowsy Thoughts by the Sea

    Chaffed by sand.
    Burned by sun.
    Buffeted by sea winds.
    This day feels
    much the same
    as what’s been
    chucked my way
    way too long.
    I long
    to crawl in
    a shell,
    close the lid
    let the world
    drift away
    and maybe,
    just maybe,
    a perfect …

    • Thank you, both. I didn’t know if this worked or not. I feel very unsure when I don’t do forms.

  16. Hypothetical Question

    If a blip of slimy muscle
    lacking major faculties
    can build parapets and hallways
    lined with roses of the seas;

    if it coils its past around it
    in a home with many rooms,
    spending all its life creating
    gorgeous home that is his tomb;

    if this mollusk can build splendor
    from the life that he secretes
    with rich patterns on his roofing
    and rich furnishings beneath;

    should not humankind build better
    far more wondrous things on earth,
    should not what we do reveal us
    as a creature of some worth?

    When the works we gave our lives to
    are uncovered in the sod,
    will collectors hold our shells up
    and proclaim the power of God?

  17. Wonderful. This really is beautiful, Jane! Two thumbs up.
    “roses of the seas, rich patterns on his roofing, rich furnishings beneath,collectors hold our shells up and proclaim the power of God?”

  18. Guilt Destroys The Hardest Heart…

    Driven by the
    Sea lay scattered, broken
    Like the remnants of her stony
    Heart, pierced.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    We got all settled in at our campsite, and we actually have sporadic wifi! Yay!! 😀

  19. Shelling

    Gray shells of mussels,
    black inside.
    A crab shell of pink,
    but wait,
    it is still moving.
    Some shells are horn-shaped
    and skeletal,
    some look like pleated ears.
    Snail shells gleam
    while conch shells roar.
    Sand dollars are flat white plates
    with slits.
    I try to collect whole shells,
    but some are fragile;
    they break in your hand.
    You cannot collect
    too many shells.
    I have them arrayed
    in glassware,
    and some are scattered
    in a pink ceramic shell.
    I bought a jewelry box
    made of sea shells
    in an antique shop.
    I’m thinking of getting
    a shell-framed mirror.

  20. Stretch on the prompt but its what came to mind.

    Empty Shells

    By David De Jong

    The shells on the shore we see no more
    Scattered, tattered empty on the shore
    Howitzers blitzers, freedom’s platoon
    Across the beach, shredded bodies strewn
    Wave after wave brave soldiers would fall
    Some still live and remember it all
    Empty shells cast along the sea
    Sandy beach, still named Normandy

  21. Bucket List

    Let’s pay the
    piper and forget the song,
    collect these treasures
    that the waves made
    strong. Then sing,
    and shed
    our former selves.

    With faith and hope
    and fragile trust,
    make castles
    out of all these
    broken shells.

    Please. Build me
    out of all this


  22. Pingback: Bucket List | Whimsygizmo's Blog

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