Friday 24 April 2009


Isn't it amazing, the tiny things that will trigger a mind to start writing a post? They can be so convoluted - at least, if you are as odd as me.

No.1 daughter only teaches three days a week, so yesterday we could indulge in a gossipy phone call, as she related the joys of a morning's shopping in Ikea. I listened to her enthuse over several items she'd found for her 'present drawer', a stockpile of ready-to-give gifts, collected at leisure and designed to make last minute, frantic searches a thing of the past. Then she started telling me about some bags of stones she'd bought for some school project or other.

"I got some this size, Ma (shakeshake, rattly-shush) and another lot this big (clankclank rolly-clatter). See the difference?" she asked. At this point, we both burst out laughing! Who else would ask me if I could 'see' the difference over a 'phone, and who else would have been able to do it?! (Well, apart from No.1 son who was part and parcel of the same mad growing up surroundings as his sister.)

It was perfectly plain to see, inside my mind, the variation in size that matched the variation in sound as my ears translated the shaking of the stones into pictures.

So as I sat at the keyboard just now, after sorting the morning emails, and began wondering what a I'd write about, the sound-picture of those pebbles gave me my subject - as well as today's poem.

Pebble Paradise

Stones on a beach, glowing wet;
muted colours the shades of nature, yet
gleaming like jewels in the salt laden air.
Rich, crunching carpet spread at your feet,
reflecting bright shafts of the sunshine's glare
in seawater droplets soon to dry in the heat.

Children gather the pebbles with shouts of glee
at the brilliant colours they think they see -
though the lustre is fleeting; colours soon dim
as they dry, salt coated stones picked up on a whim.

But then, like a miracle, the dullest small stone
in the hands of a craftsman can come into its own.
When tumbled and polished its secret unfolds
to delight us once more with the beauty it holds.


  1. Another Jinksy classic! I can only marvel at your ability to make such lovely poetry out of such a mundane subject as stones.
    I suppose seeing sounds by phone is the same as someone saying' it's this big' over the phone, and knowing exactly what they mean.

    Love Granny

  2. You've been writing some fairly deep poems, lately. Are you okay? :)

    I really enjoyed the observations in the poem, especially the prediction that the "seawater droplets would soon dry in the heat." Poetry doesn't usually predict the future - a very unique and sad line.

  3. Really lovely poem, thought-provoking. And I love the way your daughter expects you to understand that difference between sounds and weights over the telephone wire! That's classic and just the sort of thing that happens between closely bonded loved-ones.

    CJ xx

  4. I liked the source of inspiration for this post.
    The poem is a good read, thought provoking.

  5. Granny on the Web - My daughter has actually said 'It's this big' to me over the phone before now - we're a batty family!

    And C Michael Cox - lots of the poems were written years ago! I wasn't actually predicting the future when I said the stones would dry out and seem less colourful, just observing what actually happened in real life as the salt coating becomes apparent. It's the reader who adds their own interpretation to my words...

    CJ - how right you are - it takes one to know one, as you might say.

  6. Indrani - you slipped in there while i was writing! Glad the poem gave you food for thought...

  7. With computer cameras (that will probably soon be standard equipment) you too can see the stones. We purchased one recently and it's quite neat. There's something about seeing as opposed to just hearing.

  8. Isn't it interesting how little things offer inspiration? You're lucky to have a daughter who shares so much with you.

  9. AC - my brain 'saw' the stones as my ears heard them - who needs a camera?!

    And Lakeviewer - both my daughter and son are on my wavelenth, thank goodness. We are all daft as brushes, and very lucky to be so, as you say.

  10. Lovely to come back and read this. I'm in awe of the way the words just flow out of you and onto the keyboard.

  11. You're brilliant, you know.

  12. Oh yes! I do that! I would definitely be able to tell the size, in fact, I think I can guesstimate from what you wrote here...!

  13. Jinksy, It's so evident that you have a very close relationship with your children!!! So wonderful...and this poem is extraordinary! What a wonderful poetic vision you bring to EVERYTHING! You make me appreciate all things in a fresh, new way!

  14. Lovely. I dedicate my next 'Beauty in Unexpected Places' to you. I have it all ready. "Keep your eye out" as my daughter used to say :-)

  15. i understood perfectly ;)

  16. Some of us, even at an advanced age, are still fascinated with pebbles. If I am outside for any length of time, it would be unusual for me not to come home with a pebble in my pocket. Love your poem.

  17. Jinksy, This may be my favorite. It looks like a metaphor for the stages of life to me. Not sure you meant it that way, but it's what resinates within me.

  18. Nice to know other Mother's have some strange phone conversations like I do with my kids. And even my Mom. LOL

  19. I understood. My sister, my son and I are the only ones I know who could say and understand something like "It was exactly that shade of blue.. only in pink"

  20. Oh, that miraculous link between mother and daughter - how well the stone shaking excitement expresses it. And, of course, your poem is so beautifully pictorial (is that a word? do you get what I mean?) - the way your words create pictures in the mind delights me every time.

  21. Lovely poem Jinksy, I had to laugh at your daughter shaking the pebbles and you nodding sagely!! What a bond you must have.


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