Poetry – Pebbles



Tricoloured pebbles,
the sand stepping-stones
of a shuffling huddle,
or shifting land –
a clinking crowd at ground.

Play them like marbles
but don’t expect
the submissive roll
of a childhood game.
They heavy-slide and think with feet,

carry each step, even flip-flop.

Their colours are wet
but dry when
the sun blow-dries
them face by face.

Whichever way they turn they are plain.

But their age and experience,
the way they sit,
sloped down deep
in each other and hide,
not bright like pearly shell, it tells

of the piece of beach that stays
and is always
constant – the castle
we might build
and some day, climb.

K. S. Moore

Pebbles.I wrote ‘Pebbles’ around ten years ago and it’s one of my favourite seaside-themed pieces.  I think it retains a simplicity that echoes childhood summer days, whilst also carrying hints of deeper meaning.  Sound is an integral part of its make-up, and reminds me of the large, noisy, pink and grey pebbles that inspired the piece all that time ago.

The poem was published as part of my 2006 pamphlet, ‘Of Mermaids and Moonfish’, but has never appeared in a magazine, or online.  I have read it in public many times as it has a strong ‘read out loud factor’.

Perhaps I thought of posting it here, out of a desire to hold on to these last few days of summer.  Darkness has already begun to edge its presence into our early evenings and I’m sure the swallows will soon be gathering on wires with their strange babble, as if discussing the route ahead.  Just a few of the signs that autumn awaits, with all its peach and golden greatness.  A beautiful season, but full of change.

Photo credit: matthewvenn via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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