Longlisted Poem 2011

Fielding Ronshaugen

Cheadle Hulme School, Cheshire

Contrasts Between Watch and Stone (Or William Paley)

I.    Watch
Cold silver chained tight to your pocket
keeps hands locked still or swift,
metal hours under crystal.
The tick, tick, tick is the sound of your
thinking mind’s trick to measure
without getting lost in long moments.
The simple wind-up circle knows
every second you let slip.

Careful – must be wound lest it forget.
All parts were made to fit.
Weary, wretched watch: like many created things,
there is no mystery in this.

II.    Stone
Sun-warmed, dropped into your pocket
on a walk along the shore.
Colour of sea or a fat grey dove
on the stoop, staying in against wind.
River rolled edgeless, smoothed
to fit your hand like the familiar
sound of a book against a library desk.
Cupped close by kelp, cliffs,
other fingers before and after you:
held safe, you learn the shape by rote.
Steady, sacred stone: like many natural things,
lovely and unknown.

III.    Philosopher
You may be held to the spinning earth
by two heavy simple things
(one for each pocket), but
please say you’ll love best the
random beautiful thing.
© Fielding Ronshaugen

Project Details

  • Date January 11, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Longlisted Poems