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OYSTER by Ruth Calder Murphy

Pearls are so beautiful…
It’s easy to see why they’ve been treasured and coveted through generations of human history. Their translucent delicacy – their moon-shine quality – make them alluring and somehow, almost magical.
Pearls are the end result of pain and irritation and a lot of messy, unappealing, hard work. They’re formed when an alien substance gets between an oyster’s shell and the soft, sensitive flesh beneath. In order to stop the stone (or whatever it is) damaging it more, the oyster busies itself with covering the irritant, layer upon layer, with a substance that hardens over time and forms a pearl.
The metaphor is obvious, I think, however far you want to take it. I often feel like an oyster – soft and vulnerable under my protective shells. I often feel as though, however much I try to make myself safe in those shells, things get in from outside – unwelcome things that hurt, or niggle, or make me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, they’re well-intended things, born of love and kindness. Sometimes, they’re things designed to damage me. Either way, once they’re in, under my shell, it’s up to me to work with them, until they become something precious and beautiful and good. 
Painting by Natalia Koreshkova


Oyster I am.
Oyster with grit under soft skin,
telling stories in layers
and living within
their mesmerizing shells…

Oyster I am,
rolling around
the frowns and jibes,
the snide disapprovals
and hypocritical concerns
that wriggle into spaces
between heart and soul and mind
- that invade my quiet places
and see what they can find
to itch.

Oyster I am,
soft under lamina, deep-water rich,
my spirit unfurls…

Oyster I am,
rolling the grit in dazzling dreams
and making it pearls.

Ruth Calder Murphy is a writer, artist, music teacher, wife and mother living in London, UK. Her life is wonderfully full of creativity and low-level chaos. She is the author of two published novels, “The Scream" and "The Everlasting Monday", several books of poetry and one or two as-yet unpublished novels. She is passionate about celebrating the uniqueness of people, questioning the unquestionable and discovering new perspectives on old wonders. She is learning to ride the waves that come along—peaks and troughs—and is waking up to just how wonderful life really is. You can visit Ruth and view more of her art on her website, or on her writer's page on Facebook. Her books are available on Amazon, here.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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