Craig McArthur: ‘The scallop shell’ and ‘For Eloisa’

The scallop shell

Lying in the sand and
almost forgotten
until I pick you up.
Your long journey finished now;
half of the original whole
that skippered along sandy sea-beds,
skittered aimlessly in swaying kelp forests,
and frolicked amongst shoals of silvered whiting.

Finally to rest here at last
on a Glenelg beach
as dogs scamper past in pursuit of tennis balls
and your magenta stripes fade slowly in the winter sun.

Craig McArthur

For Eloisa

In this wintertime of life
when endings exercise the brain
and Methuselah’s longevity
is just some distant dream
it’s then I start to wonder,
(or am I being unkind),
how long will it take my dear
for me to fade from your mind?

A day?
A week?
Or maybe longer still?
Or will a little candle burn
on some frosted window-sill?

These are things I’ll never know—
and know I never can,
but I am thankful your love was part
of Life’s mysterious plan.

Craig McArthur

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