Strange Shells

Turkish beaches bear a strange shell
Blood on the stones and blood in the sea
Foreign bodies lay still in Agean breeze
Strange shells laying on popular beach

Pastoral scene for the gallant West
Scent of salt-water wind blows fresh
Stolen breath from within life vest
Then the sudden smell of bloated flesh

Here lays infant shell for gull to pick
For sea to claim, tide to lick
For the sun to rot, for West to muse
Here is a strange and bitter truth.

Author’s Note: Poem based on Abel Meeropol’s song ‘Strange Fruit’ popularised by Billie Holiday

Paul Crompton is an itinerant soul moving from Norfolk to Brighton via the U.K.'s West Country. By day he writes for a business magazine and by night attends Brighton's many spoken word events. Read other articles by Paul.