The Abalone Hunt by Emily Bilman

The Abalone Hunt
The full moon ormering tide swayed the kelp
Forests on the Coral Sea. On the drop-down
From the neritic limn, I measured the limestone
Shells with their breathing pores in the selenizone
And cut them off from their rock-hosts with
A plastic knife to prevent them from bleeding.
The shells that survived the dinosaurs, clung
To their rock-hosts as if they were rocks themselves.
A shock on the coiled Cretaceous spiral and
The snail-flesh would secrete a ceramic fluid between
Sliding bricks to form a body-armour and a pearl.
On the ground above the aquifer and the water-table,
The convex shell, rough in the hand, yielded to iridescent
Green-purple-silver swathes of refracted light.
Emily Bilman, PhD is London’s Poetry Society Stanza representative in Geneva. Her thesis, The Psychodynamics of Poetry: Poetic Virtuality and Oedipal Sublimation in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot and Paul Valéry, was published by Lambert Academic in 2010 and Modern Ekphrasis in 2013 by Peter Lang. Her poetry books, A Woman By A Well (2015), Resilience (2015), The Threshold of Broken Waters (2018), and Apperception (2020) were published by Matador, UK.



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