Microfiction challenge: Looking for pebbles

I did sort of half-promise Michael (of Morpeth Road) that I’d post another oddity to inspire some more weird and wonderful stories. This one, by Frederick Leighton isn’t as exotic as last week’s giant rodent, but it’s a painting that I find lovely in its strangeness. See what you think. Can you get a story out of this painting entitled Greek girls picking up pebbles?


Pebbles in the stream



The pebble dropped into the stream

may roll down to the ocean vast and blue,

or, like your love, sink forgotten

into weed-choked mud.


Rain on stone,

pattering cold from stony sky,

washes the dust and the clinging grime,

washes clean

for memories to build anew.


No light in this air,

this day of damp and dinge,

cold clings like a second skin,


and relentless as the mud-gorged river.


Once so clear, the future,

decked with diamonds bright as stars,

dense and dull now as the river,

swollen with sorrowing rain

and the debris of broken things.

Poetry challenge Pebbles: the entries

I’m preparing this post in advance, as I am the next challenge, because I won’t have time to do the round up tomorrow. Book release aside, we are signing for our new (very old) house just after lunch, and as we intend to go straight out to look at our purchase and christen it, I’ll be spending tomorrow morning packing our camping gear. If anyone posts an entry on Tuesday, I promise I’ll do an update when I get back to civilization and internet access.

The first entry is from Patricia Salamone. It isn’t a pantoum and Patricia says she’s not a poet. I leave you to judge.

By: Patricia Salamone

Washed upon the shore from far away,
or have you been resting here for many a day.
No matter where you come from you bring a story with you.

Did you come from deep below the sea,
or did you travel here from where I would like to be.
No matter where you come from you bring a story with you.

Did a small child pick you up and plop you here one day,
so another child can pick you up and take you off to play.
No matter where you come from you bring a story with you.

You feel so warm beneath my feet and smooth in my palm,
when I come here again you will probably be gone.
No matter where you come from you bring a story with you.

If I pick you up and take you home with me,
will you tell me your story or will your story be me.
No matter where you come from you bring a story with you.


Next was Sarah from the south west with a lovely evocation of memories of playing on the beach with a child.

Pebbles – a Pantoum | fmme writes poems


Ken’s poem is full of longing for a world where uniqueness and difference is treasured. Maybe, one day.

Like Pebbles on the Sand | rivrvlogr


Merril’s poem is in true ballad style, wishing on a blue stone, wild geese and hopes for a better world.

Stone of Peace | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings


Sri’s poem plays on the words ‘collect’ and ‘recollect’, gathering memories like pebbles on the beach.



Kerfe’s ocean washes the reader to the margins of time, a tremendous image, bouncing back and forth in a litany of contrasts.

In the Margins of Time | method two madness


Kat’s poem offers a much more interesting alternative to sunbathing

Treasure Bound | like mercury colliding…


This one is from TJ, the Australian Parisien, who creates what seems to me, a delightful paradox with his beach butterfly, flitting about turning stones, in a search for happiness.

Leave No Stone Unturned | La vie est trop courte pour boire du mauvais vin


There’s a sense of melancholy in Janice’s poem. Beauty is there, solid as polished stones, but she feels that something eludes her grasp. Beauty isn’t as so easy to capture.

Pebbles – Ontheland


Peter. Another one apologizing for not writing a pantoum. It isn’t an obligation, just a suggestion. I like this image, the pebble, that has taken so long to be polished, then washed ashore, forever hidden beneath the waves.



Louise’s poem uses the pebbles in another function, a path leading to dreams, happiness, the sky. A poem full of movement and light.

Ocean Lullaby – Fantasy Raconteur


There you are. Polished gems, all of them. Thank you all for participating. I’m posting next week’s challenge a little ahead of time since I won’t have internet access on Wednesday, so you’ll have an extra day to polish 🙂

Poetry challenge #35: Pebbles

I thought I’d return to the pantoum for this one. The instructions are set out clearly in shadow poetry.

I’ve added a few words you might like to use, but don’t feel obliged. I have to say that since I forgot all about the words when I came to write the poem!

Here’s the pic, the word suggestions, my pantoum is below, and remember you have a whole week to write your pantoum (or other form if you don’t get on with pantoums) and post the link in the comments.

Have fun!

Bright, smooth, shore, blue, reflecting


The strand is strewn with sunlight,

Sea-polished gems of stone,

Reflecting sun and moonlight,

The only treasure she will own.


Sea-polished gems of stone,

The colours of the deeps,

The only treasure she will own,

From the halls where the Selkie weeps.


The colours of the deeps,

Matched by the clouded sky,

From the halls where the Selkie weeps,

For a love that will never die.


Matched by the clouded sky,

White foam sighs on the shore,

For a love that will never die,

She dives and is seen no more.


White foam sighs on the shore,

Reflecting sun and moonlight,

She dives and is seen no more,

The strand is strewn with sunlight.


The Daily Post prompt is: connected.

The stars are in the constellation of Pegasus.


Earth hooks the moon,

That draws the tides,

That sweep the shore,

A carpet of glittering jewels.


Stone wrinkles into mountains,

Cracked by rain and crumbled,

River-washed to the sea,

A carpet of glittering jewels.


Upon the tor, windswept and bare,

In a sprinkling of gritty soil,

Blue profusion of bellflowers,

A carpet of glittering jewels.


Fiery rocks set in black space,

Linked one to another to the next,

Winged horse treading from star to star,

A carpet of glittering jewels.


These days of sorrow

Photo ©Mirjam Ool

Mirjam Ool

These days of sorrow,
Followed all by nights of bleak regret,
And the drip drip drip of salt tears,
Wear away the stone of my heart,
Until all I have left is a smooth pebble
To toss into a pool.
Deep down in the cool green water,
To sleep, forget,
The sorrow and regret,
Where the silent carp glide among the weed,
And the glint of gold in the shadows
Is a dragon’s hoard.
There let me lie,
Where there is no night, no day,
No stars above my head,
To crush me with the weight of memory,
Only the silent carp,
To guard the smooth pebble of my heart.


I was looking for a picture of pebbles in a stream to illustrate a poem and found this beauty instead. Click on the picture for the full, glorious effect.


The sea has so many treasures,
Tossed carelessly on the shore,
Where we lie
High on the silver sand,
Dreaming of gold
And the electric dazzle
Of city lights.
A thousand hues,
Sun-caught glitter,
A precious pavement,
Beneath our feet,
We walk,
Eyes on the horizon,
Marvelling at the blue,
Or closed,
To bask in the fiery sun,
Until the waves wash
Reclaim their treasure,
To display before other,


And since it’s National Poetry Day, here’s another poem. It’s my blog and I’ll post what I like.


We lean on the rail you and I

Our elbows almost touching but not quite.

Below, the water flows

Tumbling in chaotic cataracts of muddy brown.

Beyond, water blue glitters with captured sun

And clouds trace their snowy course across the icy sky.

Pigeons pass in silent flocks,

Their wings twist and bend like silver foil.

The world is in movement but I would have it still.

I would have it place a finger to your lips and seal them shut.

I would stop time, stop the rush of life and light

To keep this moment in suspense for eternity.

As if this quiet before the truth shatters the surface is life.

You drop a pebble watch it fall.

It leaves no trace, no hole in the river’s eternal flux.

The pebble drops, you speak, and your words fall like pebbles

Into the indifferent brown movement,

Swallowed in the mud brown water.

But deeper than pebbles they fall and fall

Into the brown stillness that was once my heart

And there they settle

And there they will lie forever.

Painting (untitled) by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso

The wind in the poplars


The wind from the sea
Soughs in the trees
Its sinister hiss
Like the song of the surf
As it rakes through the debris
Left by the tides
And spits out the pebbles
That stick in its craw.
Wind shakes the branches
Playing the dirge
Of drowned souls and dead stones
Full fathom five
Where cold water rolls
And above the wind cries
With their voice in the leaves
To the wide open sky.