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Matthew Friday: a poem

Skimming Stones

On Beesands beach Grandad taught

us how to find the fat, flat stones,

the ones with the perfect weight.

Next lesson, the throw:

the crouch and arched arm

and the quick snap of the wrist

that shoots the stone spinning

and gunning the waves, bouncing

until the energy has gone.

We could never beat Granddad.

He had driven tanks

all over Europe. On this coast

the Allies practised the D-Day landings

until a German U-Boat slipped into the net, sent

tanks and men down to join the stones.

We never knew what he thought.

Sometimes he carried on alone

while my brother and I dropped

rocks into the waves,

satisfied with the huge gulping plop.

We skimmed the peaks of summer

caught in the years' unending tide.

Matthew James Friday has had poems published in numerous international journals, including, recently: Borderless (India), Acta Victoriana (Canada), and Into the Void (Canada). The mini-chapbooks All the Ways to Love, Waters of Oregon and The Words Unsaid were published by the Origami Poems Project (USA).


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