Stunted: A Poem
Fun Stop Motion Video of Shells
Letting Go Of Love
My mouth puckers at the thought
Of a swollen-mouth shell
Your memory still stings me
Viewed on the surface
This shell is knobby
Unique in shape
I still yearn to touch your knobby knees
Tortured, textured skin
Peering inside this shell
Reveals an intricate beautiful world
I enjoyed my reflection in your eyes
But here is the secret problem of the Swollen-Mouth shell
It is stunted
A conventional coiled spire suggests normal growth
But it evolved as though forgetting to coil
The large, elongated body whorl
Dwarfs that beautifully coiled spine
It is malformed, malfunctioning
I could see that you wanted to become something beautiful
But your capacity for growth was stunted by eroding mental health
This shell lives on offshore rocks
Its apex often eroded by the harshness of time
Its shell mottled with brown frustration
Grasp it too hard and its knobby body pains your hand
My heart held a too-tight grasp on your undeveloped shell
I was tossed upon the rocks of your illness
If I had not let go, we both would have ended up swept to sea
Beyond the Poem
This is a fairly fresh poem about a topic that I haven’t yet found it easy to talk about in a less vague, more open way. That’s what I love about poetry; you can explore the depths of your feelings and find a way to express yourself without having to say explicitly what you are personally going through. You need to go through it and be willing to share it but poetry can be written when the experience is still a little bit raw.
This poem is a poem that was inspired by a book of different types of shells. I was struck by how many different shells exist in the natural world. I was impressed by how different each of them is from the others but often in a small and subtle way. Because of this, the descriptions of different types of shells often made me think of different people in my life. One might be strong and resistant to pressure. Another might be fragile and on the verge of breaking. I saw each shell that I researched as its own little person, wondered what it would be like if it were given human characteristics, asked myself who it reminded me of.
In this case, the shell that I was exploring was the Swollen-Mouth shell and it reminded me of someone that I deeply loved but lost because of his inability to move beyond his own emotional or mental health issues. Like I said, I am not really ready to discuss the particulars or details with many people in my life. However, I’ve done enough processing to be familiar with my feelings about the situation and ultimately what I feel is that we both would have been destroyed if the relationship continued so the only thing that I could do was to let go. I tried to use the structure of the poem to express this in a contained way.
Swollen Mouth Shell
More of My Poetry
- Abalone: A Shell Poem
These poems try to describe what individual shells are like in comparison to other shells, what makes them unique and different. In the case of the abalone, it’s the inner world that requires you to look beyond just the basic common shell and into a
- What Makes a Prison? A Poem.
When I was in college, I did a significant amount of work with social services, specifically working with adult inmates. It was frustrating for me to feel like “the system” was this unfair thing that treated people differently based on class and yet
- At 20, At 30: A Poem
At 20, At 30 is a poem about aging. It is written line by line, alternating between the experience of something at age 20 and how that has changed upon reaching age 30. And it ends with a look towards the future beyond age 30.
- She Sees C's: The Mary Quite Contrary Poem
She Sees C's is from a series of poems in which I took the original phrasing from well-known nursery rhymes and added my own language to alter the intended meaning of the poems. All of those poems were about the kids I'd worked with in the social ser
- Neither Here Nor There: A Poem
Neither Here Nor There is a poem that I’ve written to explain that feeling that adolescents often have of not fitting in anywhere and yet so desperately wanting to. I have tried to capture the memories of what it was like to be young and to feel like
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