Having claimed an empty shell
the hermit crab's routine is enviable
shedding accretions in one uncorking squeeze
and onward to a more accommodating
elsewhere - if with such ease we could proceed
attachments would stray and waver as strands
perhaps Spanish moss or creeper
our roots, tenacious though, like those of obstinate weeds
scraping off the mud of years, stacking up the keepers
extraneous now, home's morphing more and more
a packing shed, a terminus, buffered by bubble wrap
its a refreshingly temporary feeling
- how else could we leave?

Related Posts: ‘Scaping the City

Lilian has given us a multi-layered prompt for this week’s Poetics: Shed – and one I can relate to as of now

35 thoughts on “Kiboshed

  1. Jilly’s right. There is a lot in this. So good. The hermit crab is a wonderful metaphor for moving on only when you have to, but leaving everything behind. That thought really stuck with me, that the only way to be able to leave is to leave everything in bubble wrap. No roots.

  2. What a fabulous metaphor to use….and a wonderful creature to use for the prompt word “shed”
    Don’t know if you always have that bright red/blue/green illustration on your blog…but it strikes me that it could be the pattern of the hermit frog…moving, dragging his shell….changing shells….on, off, move..on, off, etc.
    There is so much within your words here. The simplicity of the hermit crab to just go with it……..uncomfortable? Shed it and get another. Accretions…yep….just keep moving and going. An “uncorking squeeze”….”obstinate weeds”….just slough it off, however ungracefully…get another place to put your inner/real self and move on. Great post!

    1. your prompt created great movement Lillian – and was pleased to use shed in the title too
      p.s. the photoart is a somewhat exuberant bubble wrap!

  3. Laura this piece is interesting, dense with thought are your conemplstions regarding moving on, shedding the past, but “stacking up the keepers”. Which I assume means bringing along that which is congruent with the future. Like Jilly, Jane, snd Msry indicated – this piece is layered and requires digging. I am certain I have not yet plumbed its depths… not certain I am clever enough to uncover all its meanings…? But fascinating to read.

  4. I love the metaphor of the hermit crab also, but also the way you use the language to describe the process… maybe though some of us are a bit like that… never move until it’s almost too late, when we are squeezed against the walls….

    1. Thank you for your appreciation Björn- this is a process that takes time to digest – moving into a metaphorical halfway house between here and there

  5. I was flipping thru a magazine at the doctor – how to stage your home for sale – before and after.
    Quite daunting to realise quite how much STUFF we have here.

  6. home’s morphing more and more
    a packing shed, a terminus, buffered by bubble wrap
    its a refreshingly temporary feeling

    How else could we leave indeed!
    Love your ending!

  7. There are such contradictory feelings when it comes to how much we have, how we love it, and how we would like to be free of it. This zeroes in on all of that. Great work!

    1. I don’t know how I missed your comment so very belated thanks – and yes this choosing of what will stay and what will go makes me envy the hermit crab

  8. When I read this between classes this morning, the words that jumped out at me were “extraneous now” – I read them as Adjective/Noun – almost heard “the” ahead of them. That is how I have always felt when in the midst of a move or significant change and I realize that you are expressing exactly that feel through this poem. That sensation of not belonging in either spot, but in limbo, for the moment. This Extraneous Now. And, yes – refreshingly temporary. It doesn’t last – we get to that new shell and it becomes home and the in-between becomes a forgotten place and time – like a lay-over in an airport. You have expressed all of that so well; I’m truly taken with this poem and reading the comments, I see I am not alone in that. Frame this one, Laura – on the lid of a moving box – hang it up when you arrive 🙂 Bravo!

    1. I like that as title for a future poem – the extraneous now. Your praise warms the cockles (and hermit crabs)- I could even hang this in the shed – there is one where I am going. Thank you so much for this second helping of feedback – cat who got the cream comes to mind!

      1. So here’s the challenge: we both take The/This Extraneous Now, write it AND shoot it. We complete the two before the summer solstice. You in?

  9. “home’s morphing more and more” is almost a metaphor for the change felt happening within. i sense a slight hopefulness amidst the clutter

  10. I, too, see much to contemplate, mull, and ruminate upon. (Image: tall, long-haired, crazed poet… in black and white spotted stage make-up, chewing his cud… blank stare through the wires of the fence.)

    As a person who has moved many times, for many reasons, I can honestly say the best accompaniment to bubble wrap is alluded to by your reference to the crab. Uncork, pour… repeat as necessary.

    I will come back to read and comment when I am less fried. You are in many of our thoughts and (dare I say it?) prayers.

    1. Could never conjure such an image Charley with my limited imagination – thoughts and prayers most welcome – will uncork when the movers have been and when they deliver!

      1. I doubt the limited imagination… popping a cork after a move is always a wise decision. As long as you remember where and how you placed the furniture… and the breakables. 🙂

  11. I love where this took you. Very timely, with all the “clear your clutter” talk these days. If only we could shed ourselves so easily.

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