Shelling Prawns

The Rev. Canon Dr. James M. McPherson

4 October 2012


The random scoop of raw prawns

from the seafood counter all fearfully

and wonderfully made; wrenching

off their heads a posthumous violation

as nothing to the trawler’s random

scoop and hoist into the murderous air.

The solemn truth that life survives

by killing demands I honour those

slain for my plate with heedful eating.

And will you not, O God ‑ for solemn

justice –when all things to their

consummation come, specially honour

those wild-caught or farmed then

wrenched away for others’ food?


My random scoop of raw prawns included some beautifully marked in a delicate coral pink, which triggered my initial reflection ‑ which subsequently began to question the justice implications of using Psalm 104.29-30 as a Grace:

All things look to you: to give them their food in due season.

When you give it to them, they gather it: when you open your hand

they are satisfied with good things.                      Psalm 104.29-30


St Francis’ Day 2012.


© the Revd James M McPherson

Maryborough Qld