I came across a shell by the seashore – emptied of Life but filled with —


When bright lights dim and spin-doctors fell silent –

How shouts your life lived?

What would you like to hear?

Be still — hear the ocean — whisper —



    1. I don’t mean to compare, Ron, as each hold an allure – but mine is so convoluted and frankly, a little clunky. Your haiku cuts to the chase and says it much better. Thank you for sharing this with us here – I always look forward to your contributions.

      Have a great week ahead,

    2. Strange – left a comment in your most recent post and it disappeared. You might want to check your spam. WP monkeys are at it again, me thinks!

  1. Dear Eric,

    Thought provoking, indeed. I especially liked ‘harboured’ and ‘held’, both signifying shelter and safety yet, ultimately, driven ashore and hollow. But the tenuity of life, however fragile it may be, encompasses hope and mystery. Alas, all too soon vanquished, dreams and passions washed ashore with spindrift, a littoral end.

    Lovely haiku, Eric. And strolls along the shoreline never fail to elicit a sense of sadness and yearning, perhaps for some unconscious realm, a return to the sea, as the ocean does whisper, beckoning and enchanting a solitary soul back to its origin.

    Here’s my attempt:

    See Shells

    Undulating waves
    Rhythmic, sensual, alive
    Dead, sea detritus.

    Take care, and as usual, it is a pleasure reading the replies to your poetic beauty.


    1. Dear Paul,

      Well, as you know, I merely help cast the net – and marvel at the treasures of wisdom that readers such as you haul out to share. You’ve picked and held to the light all the coloured chips in this haiku – some that I did not know were there. Thank you, Paul and indeed I am grateful.

      At first glance, I did wonder whether it should be “Sea Shells” and then realised, “See Shells” made every sense and even profound. You’ve weaved much into the haiku – one can take it at a literal level or dive deep – just the way, I love haiku.

      All good wishes my friend,

      1. Dear Eric,

        Thank you for the lovely words, and yes, it is rather startling how three lines of poetry can evoke so many sundry interpretations from a bevy of fine folk.

        The ocean, as you say, does indeed whisper; a soft lofty susurrus that soothes souls bereft of tranquility. The sea heals and welcomes all who respect its myriad of treasures. The key, though, is reverence towards such a magnificent and living entity.

        I bid you a most splendid Day, Eric, and I appreciate your thoughtful replies.

        Take care,

    1. Hello Jeanne,

      I think we share something in common – beach walking. I love to do that in early mornings (sunrise) and late afternoons.

      Peace, Eric

  2. Eloquently expressed, Eric. I especially like your “after the poem” comment: “Be still — hear the ocean — whisper —” Blessings, Peg

    1. Thank you, Peg – you’re ever so kind with your comments. Actually, I love that jagged line too – even now, when I hold a cupped hand to my ear —–

  3. Hello Eric Sir! Nice to hear from you.Thanks you so much for your lovely words. I am really surprised that you have observed my blog activities and I am really touched. Actually I have a little daughter and never give me enough time to write something. At her age she needs my attention more than anything else.Its always easy for me to read others posts actively.

    I am more active on my other blog http://ankahibaateindilse.wordpress.com/ where I write poetry in Hindi Language having very few followers..I write poems in Hindi effortlessly…and easy for me to write and publish.

    Thanks for your Blessings

    1. Rachna dear,

      Thank you for taking the trouble to update me. I am humbled and touched. Yes, a child takes up one’s time and it can be taxing and yet joyful.

      I popped over to your other blog – I don’t read Hindi but read the English poems – both very strong and raw with emotions. You have obvious talent in English and can only marvel at how much better your Hindi poems are – it is a pity that I can’t read them. Well, I’ve ticked to receive updates of that blog too and shall be reading your works when I catch the time.

      I wish you and your family all that is good and joyful,

      1. Hi Eric Sir! It was not a trouble rather pleasure to update you. Thank you so much to check out my Poetry blog and saying such a nice things. Your valuable feedback is so encouraging and motivating. I would definitely attempt to write more poems in English also.

        Thanks once again for your Best wishes
        I wish the same for you and your family

    1. Hello Rachna,

      It’s lovely this simple haiku triggered deep thoughts for you. It is more a reflection on you rather than my words. This is very pleasing.

      Peace and blessings dear,
      P/s I see you’ve not posted lately. Suppose you’ve been busy.

    1. Yes they do, don’t they, Susan – now that you mentioned it.

      Happy to have served up something to your liking.

      Peace, Eric
      P/s Your doctor could have been gentler, I reckon.

  4. What life exists in emptiness, what sounds do we conjure in silence, what life becomes in extinction? Something unknown to us, unseen, unheard, unfelt? Enjoy nothing for we are too often filled with … Love, David

  5. I’ve been facinated with those empty shells on a beach since childhood. What tales they could tell indeed. How far they’ve travelled we will never know. What dangers they’ve experienced in their brief life will be unexplained.

    1. Amazing! You gave words to my thoughts, Ian. This is exactly how I used to feel as a kid, whenever I came across a seashell along the Sembawang beach.

  6. “OMG … I will never understand haikus” … I thought to myself as I read your haiku which is smack in the middle interrupted by an RBC insurance advertisement … but disregarding the ad … it is lovely … who doesn’t want to listen to what is going on in a shell … mystery for ever.

    1. Yes, indeed what mysteries the seashell holds. Listen carefully, they say, and perhaps on a quiet night, we’ll hear the whispers.

      Stories of life in the coral reefs, nudged and snapped by fish and cruscateans; carried along by the currents – tossed and pulled and tossed again on strange shores. Frightened and yet, thrilled, of adventures and – all these and more –

      What’s that? – The whispers stopped! – Sigh! Perhaps another night, it’ll open up — with more tales — perhaps

    1. I notice that you received this award and they called you a ‘poet’ – how lovely, Georgia. Am happy for you.

      Thank you for passing this my way – this is a new award for me 🙂

  7. So, when seashells are empty of their original inhabitants, do we fill them with our hopes and desires, when we put our ears to them and listen?

    1. We can do whatever suits us, I reckon.

      Sometimes, I wonder. When we place the shell to ear to hear, are we intruding into the privacy of their life and death. I wonder.

  8. Beautiful imagery. I am going away next week. I will be right by the foreshore of Saint Vincents gulf South Australia. I will think of your poem. Looking forward to a slight break

    1. Hello Barb,

      Came through twice 🙂 and decided to leave both comments.

      Enjoy the trip. I’m sure you’ll snap some lovely pictures to share with us.

      All good wishes for the week ahead,

  9. I wish I still could Eric. I’m missing the big bodies of water I’ve always been around all my life. Idaho has a ton of rivers so I’ll have to get used to those. I will enjoy the ocean vicariously through your poetry. Thanks again for your artful brevity!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and generous words. All my life I’ve lived minutes away from the sea (Singapore is an island 🙂 so I can’t fathom what it is like to be away from the sea.

      But even now, cup your hand over you ear and hear — the ocean whispers 🙂

  10. Lovely post! I am a borderline compulsive shell collector… Eric, when my time is up I hope my empty shell whispers an ocean of love for those left behind, so that joy would be their companion and not regret.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Yes, Indira, seashell to the ear, even a cupped hand to the ear – in the silence of our heartbeat, the ocean whispers. Soothing. Mesmerizing.

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