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Sand Castles and Empty Shells

by JessicaPaul 

Posted: 20 August 2011
Word Count: 157

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Days after and Iím still finding grains of sand,

Each little piece is a memo of that time.

They remind me of what has been,

of a day that was yours and mine.

I sit and reminisce;

feel the sand beneath my feet,

the sounds of a rolling tide,

smiles on every face weíd greet.

I built sand castles.

You knocked them down.

You were never quite as happy

as when you were playing the clever clown.

But your biggest joke of all,

was to knock down my biggest one,

the one built from dreams,

hopes for what would come.

On the counter thereís a shell

that you picked up off the shore.

You said Iíd hear the ocean if I put it to my ear,

but the soundís not there anymore.

Instead the shell is empty,

just like my heart and home.

Yes, you left me with an empty shell,

and so distraught, I sit alone.

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Comments by other Members

sahara at 11:42 on 26 August 2011  Report this post

I really like the concept of this piece. I like the idea of the sand reminding the narrator of memories.

In the second line, I am not sure it is easy to "stumble" against sand as it is so small, so perhaps there is a more appropriate verb?

The mention of the sand castles is really interesting as you show the sort of relationship the couple had, and the destruction (although in jest) of such a simple, playful sand castle effectively foreshadows the end of the relationship. I particularly like the use of short sentences here: "I built sand castles. You knocked them down." The way you extend this into the metaphorical bigger castle that holds "hopes" and "dreams" is a moving idea, and it is particularly effective because you are showing and not telling.

The next line "but Iím hit with the knowledge/that we simply are no longer/walking along that beach" tends into the telling, and I think it might be more emotive if you evoke the image of an empty beach, merely implying that you are no longer there?

Small final point, but I would consider placing a comma after "Yes" in the penultimate line, giving the line more weight?

Overall, I think it is a moving and interesting poem.

JessicaPaul at 10:53 on 27 August 2011  Report this post
Thanks Sahara,
You have some really good points that I will take on board. The bit ....
I may still have sand in my shoes,

but Iím hit with the knowledge

that we simply are no longer,

walking along that beach.

is actually a part of the poem that I was considering cutting but the way you have sugested I rework it is actually a really good idea so I'll look at it again.
I used the word 'stumble' to hopefully portray the idea of stumbling across other little things left behind by the ex, but I see your point so I might look for another word that suits both situations.
thanks again or your comment, it was really helpfull and I'm glad youenjoyed the piece.

JessicaPaul at 12:09 on 30 August 2011  Report this post
I decided to cut that line in the end. I think the part about the sheel not having the sound of the ocean there anymore conveys the same message adequately and the line just didn't work for me.
I also changed the second line because I took your point about not being able to 'stumble' across grains of sand.
I hope you think the poem is better for the changes, I'm more happy with it now.

sahara at 11:14 on 31 August 2011  Report this post
Yes, that's certainly much tighter. I just noticed a small typo about halfway down "You were never as so happy".

It's definitely improved, and you're right, it works without those lines you cut!


JessicaPaul at 15:40 on 31 August 2011  Report this post
Sahara, i think I'm being dull! Which part's the typo?! Or is it just that it's not worded quite right?
I'm glad you still think it works.

sahara at 08:28 on 02 September 2011  Report this post
Ah, I just thought that having both "as" and "so" makes it clumsy, "You were never as happy" would better, without the "so" - you're right, it's not actually a typo, but I think it would work better this way,
(It's certainly not you being dull!)


JessicaPaul at 07:44 on 04 September 2011  Report this post
Hey Sahara, thinking about it ure quite right but the 'so' was meant to be amplify how happy he was. so i think I'll cxhange it to 'you were never quite as happy.'
Thanks again, Jess

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