Today’s poem is a short one, but blends a couple prompts and bits of inspiration. The NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem written from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and fantastically weird) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. I chose the naked man carrying the lovers in a mussel shell (image below), and added in the Poetic Asides call for a “trap” poem. The image immediately made me think of the 1980 Squeeze song “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” — which also happens to be a euphemism for sex — so, naturally, that made it into the poem too.
Under the Black Shell
Love is a trap, snapped
and those ensnared in its teeth
abandon all care for freedom.
I’ve carried lovers on my back,
felt the burden of the heart
when pearls of wisdom
are traded for beads of sweat.
Judgement lost in passioned frenzy.
How much innovation
has been wasted
by those who’d spend all
their waking days and wanton nights
pulling mussels from the shell?