Tuesday Poem: Stones


Here, standing on the beach, is Dad.
Beach? It’s Riverton, rocks and gravel
from the tarmac to the grey sea’s edge.

Black and white. He holds an oblate stone
scoured out from the distant Alps
milled and rolled by frigid water.

He holds it poised for skimming. Out
it will arc, skip, skip, to fall
and sink for half a fathom.

I snapped him with my old Box Brownie. His eyes
look far beyond the frame I gave him.
Shadowed from the sun, impassive,
they are skipping over the years,
walking the waves to England.

Tim says:

“Stones” was published in my first poetry collection, Boat People (HeadworX, 2002).

It’s one of the poems I’m planning to read at the Ballroom Cafe, Newtown, Wellington, on this coming Sunday, the 17th – the session runs from 4-6pm. I’m going to read a mixture of oldies and newies. If you’re in the appropriate hemisphere, I hope you’ll be able to make it along!

Check out all the details here, and check out all the Tuesday Poems at the Tuesday Poem blog.

5 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: Stones

  1. Hi Tim – am in the appropriate hemisphere, just not the appropriate island! Ah, your Dad – your eyes on him, looking closely enough to see his eyes looking far beyond the frame. What an intimate moment this describes. The last three lines carry an almost terrible ebullience, diluted only slightly by the word 'impassive.' Thank you – and enjoy the reading, as will your listeners.Claire

  2. Home.These days half a world away doesn't seem so very far as it must have then. A lovely poem. Of course my home is in the right hemisphere, and the right city, so definitely looking forward to going to the Ballroom Cafe barring disasters.

  3. I love this poem -of course – not only for its references to a place I know so well, but also for its capture of distance, longing and groundedness- as well as of the transitory nature of things. In the poem you manage to tidily and effectively portray the tensions between these opposites.I trust the reading went well.

  4. Thanks, Claire, Helen, AJ and Kay – and sorry it's taken me so long to respond.The reading, \”Stones\” included, did go well; I'll say more about that in my next Tuesday Poem post, and I also hope that I'll have time to give everyone else's blogs posts the attention they deserve – for work reasons, I haven't had time to do that over the past fortnight.

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