Wednesday, March 29, 2017

DMC: "Ode to a Seashell" by Janie Lazo


I see you hiding there—a  shimmer in the waves beneath my feet
I wriggle my fingers deep into the wet sand and feel the whole of you
Deep ridges—smooth curves—A spiral of mystery waiting 

     to be discovered
I lift you to my ear and hear the rushing song of the sea that lives

     within you
I breathe in your briny goodness taste the salt spray on my lips
I wonder—Who will call you home?
Toss me back and we shall see.

© 2017 Janie Lazo. All rights reserved.

Helen Frost has challenged us to write an ode poem this month, following these instructions:  
Choose an object (a seashell, a hairbrush, a bird nest, a rolling pin). It should not be anything symbolic (such as a doll, a wedding ring, or a flag). Write five lines about the object, using a different sense in each line (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Then ask the object a question, listen for its answer, and write the question, the answer, or both.
Click HERE to read her sample poem, "Ode to a River."

Post your poem on our March 2017 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration this Friday, March 31st, and one lucky participant will win a personalized copy of her latest novel-in-poems from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux/Macmillan:


  1. I love discoveries at the beach, that "shimmer in the waves", and your ending brings a smile.

  2. Ooh, I love that ending, Janie – "Toss me back and we shall see" — the way those words linger! I also love the fact that instead of bringing the shell home (which is something I might do), the beachcomber is presented with the option of tossing it back so that some other creature can call it home. Something I'll definitely think about next time I'm on the beach.

  3. We just returned from Florida where we found beautiful spiral shells- but many were inhabited and were placed back in the waves... I love the thought of these marvelous creatures house hunting in the surf.

  4. Your textural descriptions draw me in; especially the contrast between "a shimmer in the waves," and "Deep ridges—smooth curves—" And you offer a fun ending to your seashell ode, thanks!

  5. We shall see.....what a perfect dismount to that poem.

  6. O Janie,
    I needed this one, especially the shell's answer -
    I'm guilty of not tossing back enough empty shells
    we gather so often here in North Florida.

    "briny goodness" makes me want to be at sea side immediately!