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Poem of the Month

Round 8, Month 5. This month our judge is Myra Schneider. Her selected winner is Marion Tracy’s poem Stones. Her four commended poets are Moira Andrew, Justina Hart, Marg Roberts and Sue Rose.


He hears a sound, plip plop. It’s small stones thrown
or wet insects on glass. The noise is getting bigger.
It sounds as if stones are being shovelled onto the house.
He asks his cousin if she’s experienced anything like this.
He frowns when she says, It must be possums.
He smiles when his neighbour says, Perhaps it’s like
when my wife left me.
He laughs when his wife says,
Yes, I’ve been hearing it for a while, it’s like memories of home.
He looks up through the leaves of the tree.
Stones are coming down through the branches.
Stones are bouncing off each branch in turn.
Stones are plums falling down like blue stars.
His neighbour looks and says, Who can be responsible?
Is it the work of clever children?
His cousin gasps and says,
Is it the work of aliens, these bright disks as they fall?
Is it, asks his wife, all the words that need saying?
In the room, the stones are all over the bed.
The stones are all over the rug but there’s no holes
in the ceiling. He looks up and there’s no footprints on the roof.
The stones are raining down and he asks his cousin,
Why do the stones not fall straight down but seem to turn in the air?
He asks his neighbour, Why do the stones have no shadow?
Why do the stones fall on my house and not on yours?

Why, laughs his wife, it’s all the stones that ever got stuck in my shoe.

Marion Tracy

Poem published: Poetry Review Vol 103:1 Spring 2013.

Judge’s comment:
Marion Tracy’s very original Stones quickly stood out for me for me. I was struck too by its use of dialogue and form. The poem is a metaphorical fable which suggests poems or nursery rhymes in which questions are asked by the narrator and a group of characters respond in turn each time with possible answers. There is a teasing twist in the search to explain the mysterious falling stones as the answer given at the end doesn’t carry the significance which the poem seems to be leading up to.

Myra Schneider

My mistake, by Moira Andrew
A Wire to Grief, by Justina Hart
Question, by Marg Roberts
S31082011, by Sue Rose