As a child, I was given a shell as a gift. There was no doubt in my mind that this shell had never seen the sea. It was too clean, too smooth, too perfect. While its inside was marble-white, its outer layer was slightly more craggy in texture, barely marked with a delicate strand of yellow.
This touch of colour seemed to give the shell character, despite its purity, and as I turned it in my hands, a story began to form.
Poetry of Seashores
This shell could never have lived on a beach,
its skin like the inside of coconut,
curls, only mimics the movement
of rock-pool water.
This shell could never have been a home,
it is pristine, polished, like fine bone.
Yellow light spills on its outer edge,
and I think of clifftops, covered in gorse,
finding the perfect line, the slow rise
of a jaundice rippled sun.
K. S. Moore