Thursday, September 10, 2020

Heaven is My Oyster


The world is my oyster

Deep under the sea.

It holds inside a pearl

Of possibilities.

To find it I must plunge into

The depths beyond the shore,

And seek it out, and pull it out,

And crack open the door.

But what, alas, do I find,

But emptiness inside!

False promises, appearances!

To me the oyster lied.

So once again I dive into

The blue, green ocean well.

And to the floor, I swim once more

And scour it for shells.

I pluck one up, and then again

I gather several more.

Surely if I try enough

Eventually I will score:

A precious little nugget,

A lustrous gleaming globe.

A perfect pearl, round as the world

Will my prize oyster hold.

Eagerly upon the beach

I pry my spoil open.

Will the ocean’s pillaged booty

Yield the plunder that I’m hoping?

Vanity of vanities!

I cry towards the sea.

None of them fulfills my wish.

Is all futility?

The ocean responds softly,

“What are you searching for?

The oysters of the sea are mine,

But the pearl can still be yours.”

How can it be? I rejoin,

With an eye still on the sea.

Do oysters volunteer their gems?

Do treasures come for free?

Do pearls lie on ocean beds

Glistening in the blue?

Show me now what you mean

If what you say is true.

A tumbling wave, upon the shore,

Crashed with ample foam.

Amidst the froth and bubbles,

A single oyster shone.

With a cry I race towards

The shell upon the shore.

At last I’ll have my longing!

I’ll labour never more.

A whisper from the sea was heard

A quiet, heaving sigh,

“The world might be your oyster,

But it won’t satisfy.

You hunt for life and meaning,

Your pearl of purpose.

You pine for pleasures of the soul

The sea does not possess.”

Oh, yes it does! I respond, 

And strain with all my might.

I will have my precious pearl,

And own my heart’s delight!

To my surprise, the oyster spoke, 

As I gripped it in my hand.

“Why do you squeeze, yourself to please?”

Was the seashell’s reprimand.

“Don’t pluck the marble from my shell,

Nor strip my innards bare.

My ornament’s not yours to steal,

But I’ve been known to share.

Ask and it shall be given.

Seek and you shall find.

Knock and it shall be opened.

To giving I am inclined.”

What could I do, but kneel down,

And humbly request,

Oh, oyster, open up your heart,

Unlock your treasure chest!

I’ve searched the bottom of the sea,

And raked the ocean floor.

I’ve tried in vain, my soul to claim

The world I’m yearning for.

Please reveal to me your globe,

Your white and glossy sphere.

And to my joy the oyster yawned,

It’s profound secret clear.

Instead of a mere planet bright,

Resting on it’s throne,

The oyster’s pearl was but a gate,

Through which heaven shone.

Behind me the sea answered,

“Do now you understand?

The pearl you seek cannot be sought

In sea nor on the land.

Heaven is your oyster,

The world you’re searching for.

In it will you find the gate,

The pearl is but a door.”

Heather Wathen

September 7, 2020

Tribune Bay, Hornby Island

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