Skip to main content

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of two published novels, “The Scream" and "The Everlasting Monday", several books of poetry and one or two as-yet unpublished novels.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!~


Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…

I KEEP GOING by Kai Coggin

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I am sharing this beautiful message by poet Kai Coggin again today, after Kate Spade's tragic death, to give hope to all those thinking about ending their lives right now. If you ned help, please call the National Suicide Hotline: 800- 273- 8255. Your life is a gift to the world. We need you here. Please never forget that.)

To keep going is sometimes both the hardest and easiest step to take out of darkness...
It may not look like a promise to smile, or to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and conquer the world today… it is just a gentle nudge of Spirit, it is holding your head just above water for one more moment, one more hour, one more day, until there is no longer the struggle to keep going, you just unshakably ARE. 
Suicide was a lying shadow of escape that lingered in my life for years. Today, I am thankful to be able to say that I no longer have those thoughts of permanent escape. I no longer lend myself to the darkness in that way, but so many creative s…