Empty Shell — an etheree

by Belinda Munoz on June 14, 2011


salt water
washing ashore
debris from the tides.
Message in a bottle,
let the truth reverberate.
This calcified exterior,
its beauty to extol, is none but
an empty shell, devoid of depth to dig.


Oh, the seashell. Is it as rich in metaphor for you as it is for me? Or is it simply doomed to sit atop a stack of boring papers, empty and alone, regardless of its graceful lines?

This is both a magpie tale and a one shot wednesday piece. The form I use is called an Etheree which consists of ten lines, each line gradually gaining a syllable from 1 to 10 (or gradually losing a syllable from 10-1 if reversed). Words and meaning are open to interpretation, as usual.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BigLittleWolf June 14, 2011 at 5:00 am

This is gorgeous.


2 Jannie Funster June 14, 2011 at 7:19 am

They say the universe is shaped like a shell’s spiral.

All is expanding, and enlightening.

This is a very lovely poem!



3 ayala June 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

Lovely, it brought me serenity. I love shells and the ocean :)


4 Ann Grenier June 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Beautiful rendering of this challenging poetry form. Well done!


5 brian June 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

messages in a bottle carry such mystery, but the shell it seems is bare… : (


6 Laura Hegfield June 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

excellent writing, I love this form too…you’ve taught me something new…and yes, shells are indeed rich in metaphor.


7 tess kincaid June 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I really enjoyed the notion of a shell being a message in a bottle. Nice.


8 Steve Isaak June 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Solid work.


9 Mama Zen June 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I like this. I hadn’t thought of a shell this way.


10 wolfsrosebud June 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Beautiful photo. Nice description.


11 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri June 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Evocative and soothing.


12 Pat Hatt June 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Using the message in the bottle was a great touch, really liked the image in invoked, nice one shot.


13 Talon June 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Such beauty and a little of the mystery of life tucked in here, Belinda. I loved it.


14 Madeleine Begun Kane June 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Lovely poem. I’m not familiar with that ethereal form. :)


15 Kim Nelson June 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I’ve collected shells from 4 of the world’s oceans, and have a real fascination. Your well-constructed piece added to my adoration. Well done.


16 Helen June 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

A work of art …………


17 Myrna June 15, 2011 at 8:54 am

So well done. How nice that you used a specific form. Really enjoyed this.


18 Kavita June 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Wonderful… it flowed so well… and yes, your words and the sound of the waves just reverberated in my mind…
Very nicely written, Belinda!


19 Jingle June 18, 2011 at 3:32 am

profound magpie.

live words, beautiful thoughts, cheers.


Leave a Comment

Previous post: Nearly There

Next post: The Evolving Kind