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‘Seashell Sound Recordist’

Pick up any Jack-knife Clam,
Triton, a Sharks Eye or Pearwhelk.
Place any Conch to your ear
and you will hear my work.

Have you ever heard the Sea Biscuit,
the Thick Lucine or the Kitten’s Paw?
Because I have travelled from sandbank
to coastline and shore to shore,

passed through raging squalls, over calm seas
to wade up beaches, from inlet to inlet.
I have recorded them all, and placed each one.
It’s up to you to hear the set.

All I require is your ear for a moment,
and then I am beyond complete.
Take just a second to listen,
separate out your breath, your heartbeat

from the sound of a recent sea.
Lean in close, hear these tiny sirens.
Hear me out. Please, come join me.
There is no such thing as true silence.

Mat Riches lives in Beckenham, Kent, but will always have Norfolk in his heart. He is a father to Florence and a husband to Rachael, and by day he is a mild-mannered researcher in the TV industry. He has previously been published in Snakeskin Press.

“This poem came about as a result of the wonderful Lyric iPod course as run by Rishi Dastidar. The theme that week was finding something in the mundane, picking something around the house, to find some romance in. That’s almost like the perfect prompt for me, but, until I stumbled across a seashell from a holiday, I was struggling. Once I had that and the names of the seashells, which are inherently poetic as the names of most natural things are, I was away. I have to say massive thank you to all of the group on the course and to Rishi for some very helpful feedback all the way through.”


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