Still Life with Crab

In the left-hand foreground,

Balanced on the corner of a table

Laid with brown and cream linen,

Is a knife with a decorative ivory handle.

Directly behind,

A shiny upturned glass

On a platter of brass

Beside a bunch

Of plump black grapes,

Just in front of a dish

Of ruby pomegranate seeds,

Into which dangles the curled skin

Of a half-peeled lemon,

One of a waxy yellow trio.

To their right, three books and a pewter tankard

That merge into shadow.

In the right-hand foreground,

A selection of crusty bread rolls,

And a large brown speckled cowry shell,


By a large-bowled globe

Of a glass of amber wine,

Illuminated by light

And the reflection of the large, bright

Orange crab

Against a dish of blue and white.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016


*Image found HERE

 My response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Writing Prompt September 18th: Tell me so I can tell you

This week, Oloriel wants us to do something that we are already doing when we are writing, but this time, without our consciousness. She has presented us with a painting, a still life, which she wants us to look at and just simply describe what is there without using any comparisons or excessive adjectives, or even imputing a personal opinion when describing the items. The idea is to list them and name them, in a way you see fit, in an order you see fit.

The purpose of this exercise is to allow the reader to interpret art however they feel . In order for them to do so, the poem, story, book or photograph needs to offer them a common ground.

13 thoughts on “Still Life with Crab

  1. I really love what you did with the prompt, your descriptions feel perfect and concise, and give so many possibilities to imagine when reading. It depends on the mood sometimes, right now, in your poem, I see a person who is struggling through different age stages to accomplish something they dreamed (the trinity of yellow, versus the pitch of luxurious vine). Tomorrow, it might mean something entirely else, and that’s only me.
    The way you handled the prompt was really perfect and I hope it served some purpose, as to perhaps give you an insight how to make what you create free and relatable and accessible to all, not just, to put it that way, a target audience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a detailed comment, Oloriel. This prompt has certainly made me aware of how I work with images, something I enjoy very much. I often take my camera on walks when I spot something that inspires me. Looking at the image at different times gives different perspectives, starting with then and now. The same applies to the written word. As you say, it might mean something else tomorrow. I think that is why I post my scribbles on WordPress and then come back to some of them at a later time to see how I feel about them and rework them accordingly. Thank you again for such an intensely satisfying prompt!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get what you mean, I also developed a habit of never leaving the house without my camera, and just snapping away. I also learned that way, with help of two art forms, photography and writing, how to express myself exactly the way I want it.
        As for revisiting old work, I personally avoid doing it, but I do find myself always reading something I wrote years ago and not recognising myself in it, thinking and saying in my head :”DId I really write this?”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your response Kim…I missed the lemon skins dangling in the seeded salad, I couldn’t work out what it was actually and I also thought the container in the foreground may have been a salad dressing container…thank goodness I could go to the site where the image was BIG so I could see much clearer….Great challenge I have to agree..

    Liked by 1 person

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