Abalone. A poem by Billy O Hanluain

We were like plankton today
surveying the recent wreck,
the parched Atlantis,
the sunken city,

We left the submersible
at Portobello bridge and
traded our skin for scales.
A transfusion of cold blood
on Camden Street to allow
us swim the dry currents
of the boarded up sea bed.

The main frame was
still intact
but the impact
must have been

We swam passed
shuttered memories,
through the silence
of these new depths.
Tufts of grass like a
neck lace of barnacles
wrapped tight around
the roots of a bus stop,
electronic times tables
blinking like night lights
on lobster pots

Peering through Café
windows, our eyes unblinking
see the stacked chairs
and Titanic furniture of places
we once called our own.
Our gills exhausted
exhaling all
this emptiness.

We dive deeper, below
The Aungier Street Shelf.
A school of Brazilian Couriers
swarm the entrance of a pizzeria,
Pearl Fishers on mountain bikes,
thermal sacks like oxygen cylinders,
preparing for their ascent to the
surface beyond the canals.
Everyone dials seafood now.

Encrustation everywhere,
some shops have been
claimed forever, become
shells, scallop, abalone.

And if you held
these places
to your ear you
might just hear
the music of
your life

1 Comment

  1. Loved this. The imagery is so evocative. Makes me sad but there’s hope in the end. We just have to keep listening.

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