Winners 2011

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.

Project Details

  • Date February 7, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Winning Poems