Poem Pastiche – The Shell by James Stephens

The Shell by James Stephens

And then I pressed the shell
Close to my ear
And listened well.
And straightaway, like a bell,
Came low and clear
The slow, sad murmur of far distant seas
Whipped by an icy breeze
Upon a shore
Wind-swept and desolate.
It was a sunless strand the never bore
The footprint of a man,
Nor felt the weight
Since time began
Of any human quality or stir,
Save what the dreary winds and waves incur.

And in the hush of water was the sound
Of pebbles, rolling round,
For ever rolling, with a hollow sound;
And bubbling sea-weeds, as the waters go,
Swish to and fro
Their long, cold tentacles of slimy grey;
There was no day;
Nor ever came a night
Setting the starts alight
To wonder at the moon;
Was twilight only, and the frightened croon,
Smitten to whimpers, of the dreary wind
And waves that journeyed blind…
And then I loosed my ear, Oh, it was sweet
To hear a cart go jolting down the street

Helping Murder by Olivia Thiel

And then you came, a hollow shell
You whisper in my ear,
And began to tell,
I listen true and listen well.
So soft and low
You sing a sad song of death and tragedies
Dark chambers of pain and agony
Upon a soul
Now wry and withered.
You say you were so clear and whole
The snap of hate
And villain role
Had not begun to grate
On passion; ambition,
Of body and mind’s intention,
Save what to you I didn’t mention.

And in your voice your quiet grew louder
Dripping honey, dripping gunpowder,
Before my eyes
You’re cooking lies.
The flames, they lick and flicker
Your blood, it boils
It’s sick, it’s gross and thicker
Than any stew
I’ve cared to taste,
To spit out in haste, lay to waste.
You are no person, you trick illusion,
You fade; you are my delusion
Rip yourself to
A million pieces, you
Feed me darts
You tear me apart.
And into my brain you shout, you scream
You yell about murder, broken bones and broken dreams…
And then I freed myself of your snare embrace, Oh, it was fine
Knowing your heart will forever be mine.

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