Sea Shell ashtray

03 Jul


   Walking Rye Beach mid-morning, I got lucky. Swept against the rocks, by its fierce ocean parents, I kicked up in shallow sand, a whole, still intact, not easy to find on Rye’s rocky coast a half of a clam shell. Yup! I got lucky. Cause’ just up the street to Hampton Beach, they cost a pretty penny. I slipped it into my pocket.

    When I got home, I brushed, with my fingers, any sand that would remind it, other than where it came from… other than where it is.

I did the same with the pocket I carried it. Turning it inside out and shaking everything free, every tidal grain of beach sand. Knowing I wouldn’t get it all.

I placed it on a table, on my porch. I heard, without ears, spirits, east, west, south, and north… applauding me for a gift well received.

    Anyway, it sits on a small iron table next to my chair. And, once in a while, having my morning cigarette and coffee, or, my evening cigarette and tea, I often wonder where you went? Were you boiled, fried, or, slithered down someone’s or something’s throat? Or maybe, your shell was cast away with a porpoise’s kiss and lives as a child of Poseidon, dancing your life away to the contemporary bands of Atlantis.

    I think of you… leaving this shell for me and my cigarette, whether through sacrifice or a beloved life. I still keep this gift, left for me— to find.


Hard life floating smoke

Seashell sits empty in bliss

Happy cigarette.

Ash tray Sea Shell frame


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16 responses to “Sea Shell ashtray

  1. gillena

    August 8, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    ZQ thanks for linking in and sharing at my Sunday Lime this week

    much love…


  2. dsnake1

    July 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

    the clam will come back in another life as a chain smoker.
    loved your haibun, all those little details. 🙂


  3. gillena

    July 4, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    really luv this haibun, and the meditation your sea gift brings you
    Thanks for linking to my Sunday Lime

    much love…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Magaly Guerrero

    July 4, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Nature’s gift offered such versatility…


  5. thotpurge

    July 4, 2016 at 12:14 am

    This poem that wonders about the clam shell that quietly collects cigarette ash… makes me wonder about life….!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    July 3, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Rye? Hampton Beach? You transport me back to my old home in bayside Melbourne but I suppose these names have been taken by early English migrants to other countries too. In any case, I am a beachcombing collector of shells, and used many as ashtrays, long ago when I smoked. I enjoyed every detail of your beautiful haibun.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Susan

    July 3, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Nicely done. I used to get my poetry along with cigarettes, too. Now I use the shells as soap dishes! Is it odd that I have never kept a shell of an animal that I actually ate?


  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    July 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Not that I smoke, but if I did a seashell woul be perfect to put the ash.


  9. Jae Rose

    July 3, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    When an ashtray gives you a story at the beginning of any day it’s a good gift!


  10. Suyash J

    July 3, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    That is incredibly poignant imagery. And I’ve had a lot of sea shell ashtrays over the last 3 years. Wonderful.


  11. Mary

    July 3, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    What a wonderful gift you were given, and you definitely put it to good use!


  12. Sanaa Rizvi

    July 3, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Such a gorgeous haibun 🙂


  13. Donna@Living From Happiness

    July 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    The gifts of the sea….so simple and yes we never get rid of all the sand but that is the gift…the sea stays with us.


  14. Sherry Marr

    July 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I LOVE finding gifts from the sea on the beach. Love your reflections on where the happy clam may have gone. Smiles.


  15. Sumana Roy

    July 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    a beautiful haibun…a Happy cigarette is too dangerous though 😦


  16. Paul F. Lenzi

    July 3, 2016 at 11:32 am

    have a few such ashtrays myself



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