A Shell Game for Lilyfly - A Poem

Ah! hyphenated lily

fly not in

quest of forgotten men

on sullen shores where

cognition mistakes shells

for flowers

and squeezes

ambrosia from the veins of ancient rock.

These grey men are

memories only, mere

vaporous thought, full of

the balm of loss—


will they be


never will they hearken your


to the newness of

discovered mathematics,


will they know that

all digression is


These men of shadow and mist

are cradled by our

grandmothers and

jealously guarded in the

darkest corners of the

tribal cave

where they

break shells of the sea

into enthralling

sinuous songs that

no one but them

will ever hear.

© Robert Cook

Comments 7 comments

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

Enigmatic and thoughtful poem.

I need to read it again to really become attuned to your thinking and, perhaps, as the fleeting images were as only half caught by the poet, they will be very elusive for the mere interpreter.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 5 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

/You/, Sir, are a careful and thoughtful reader. I should have posted this poem privately, because it's a /response/ to a poem written by "Lilyfly". You need to read my "walking towards The Way", her "The Shells, a Poem for Robert Cook", and then "A Shell Game for Lilyfly" to get the whole picture. To read her poem, click on her picture to access her Profile.

Anybody know how I can remove a poem from the public posts and conduct this battle of the shells with Lilyfly privately?

lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Oh, Robert! Your words sing in my ears! Such beautiful Mastery of the language is astounding! I think you truly won that round... let me try again, but I am on the clock for work soon, so it may be cursory... much admiration to you! Let me read it once again... lily

lifemoments profile image

lifemoments 5 years ago

great job on your hub... check out mine@ http://hubpages.com/entertainment/The-things-in-th...

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

well done. excellent use of line breaks. beautiful language

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I am just an observer in this back and forth between you and Ms. Lily however I had to let you know I love this poem. The allusions to secret and mysterious happening like "they break shells of the sea into enthralling sinuous songs" creates visions in my own mind. I picture a found seashell at a listening ear and the longing for one tiny sound of the sea. Alas, those bygone men have stolen the treasure only for themselves. It languishes far away from the water in recesses of caves.

Pardon me for interrupting. Please continue....

moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

There's nothing to interrupt, Bird. Lily and I have a lot of respect for each other's work, but anyone is 100% welcome to comment on anything either of us writes. Your comment reminded me of how rich are the levels of perception we ALL bring to a poem. Your SPECIFIC sense of my imagery literally never /occurred/ to me as I wrote and re-read this piece. Ain't that amazing? I'm very glad to have seen your perspective. Thank you.

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