Thomas Fraser (Commended)
Harrow School, Middlesex
Very Simply the Sound it Makes
Carrying the dull colour of itself, spreading,
spending weightlessness against the surface
of the lake – a sharp-cuffed slate of water –
the mist turns the evening light to a grey.
This air is sort of nearly heavenly
as the boy stops on a jetty which grows
out under the still weight of his standing.
Scanning and feeling the scene’s gravity
he thinks: ‘there could be providence in this;
some moral, now, in the water’s silence.’
He extracts a stone from a snug clay bed
wedged like cartilage between two planks
with the searching toe of a fat black boot.
And picks it up and holds its weight.
Holds, and floats its uncomplicated weight
deliberately in the palm’s centre.
Later he remembered the stone – it blew
open the slow hovering of his sleep –
woke him as the rest in the house slumbered.
Awoke, and recalled how he had thrown it
blindly into the mist’s noiseless currents
and waited a-patter (forget the complex
of emotions in abandoned spots) for
a splash: the point – simply – where, like pen
on paper, water meets stone and the sound
it makes conjures something. That sense, I mean.
- Date February 7, 2015
- Tags 2011 Simplicity - Winning Poems