Ian Reid grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Western Australia. The most recent of his 15 books is a novel, The Madwoman's Coat. His poetry and other work has been widely published in several countries, winning awards (e.g. the Antipodes prize) and being translated into five languages.
Stone or shell
Under the water, you'd hardly tell them apart:
both round-gleaming, seeming sound.
On the sand, sun-dried, they alter.
Now you see that the stone is far too hard
for protecting anything beyond
itself, but the shell is a shelter:
within it, like a blood-rush through the heart
or a panting dog homeward bound,
inner waves run helter-skelter.