One time while on a beach in Penzance,
throwing stones into the Atlantic,
my friend told me that if I ever chance
upon a stone that fits within my grip
to such an extent that the need to throw
it out towards the buoys and distant ships
is outweighed by need to keep it close
within my clutch, to press my clumsy thumb
against its cold, ancient indifference—
then that’s the stone I need to bring back home
to place onto my cluttered writing desk,
something to grip when the words fail to come,
to reassess my approach to the task,
to contemplate that no thown stone will ever
hit hard enough to put the wave at risk.
The stone itself is formed by the endeavour
of countless breakers crashing to the shore.
I clutch mine tightly, trying to remember
the sound of stones and mountains being born.