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Throw a Stone in the Water, See the Ripples Spread
by
Barbara Crooker


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We set up our tent, secure the gear,
and sink into the deep green quiet
of the woods, even though it's a state campground,
and boomboxes crackle by the campfires,
even though we've brought our children,
one of whom doesn't understand the meaning of silence,
but babbles in his own language like clear water
running in a stream, or the lake water rippling
off the prow of our canoe as we drift at twilight;
the full moon spills its light in the water,
bull frogs chug-a-rum in the cattails,
the thin blue smoke of campfires rises in the hemlocks,
circles the lake, a tart blue, the berries we picked
on the island, where the bushes grew over our heads,
but now the dark tent of night covers the sky,
and we drift off to sleep, soughed by the pines,
our breath in the tent rises, joins the small music
of the crickets and katydids, floats all the way
to the harmony of the stars.

From Ordinary LifePre (Byline Press, 2001).
This poem first appeared in the Christian Science Monitor in 1993. I
Used here with the author's permission.

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 Barbara Crooker’s poems have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies and have been featured on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), The Writer's Almanac, and in the Poetry at Noon series at the Library of Congress. Her awards include the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, fifteen residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a residency at the Moulin à Nef in Auvillar, France, and a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. Barbara lives in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania; read more about her at www.barbaracrooker.com.

 


New comments are closed for now.
jtmilford:
very accurately portrays camping in a state park campground. Brings back memories. Thanks
Posted 06/17/2014 01:39 PM
Jo:
Thanks Barbara. So good to hear your voice--anywhere, anytime.
Posted 06/15/2014 02:49 PM
Katrina:
I love the rhythm of the title.
Posted 06/15/2014 01:37 PM
peninsulapoet:
Fine poem, fine poet.
Posted 06/15/2014 12:19 PM
Glen Sorestad:
I'm right there with you, Barbara. Lovely details, so convincing!
Posted 06/15/2014 09:49 AM
mimi:
perfect, thank you for this peace..
Posted 06/15/2014 07:37 AM
phebe.davidson@gmail.com:
Beautiful. Just. . .beautiful!
Posted 06/15/2014 06:47 AM
KevinArnold:
Yes, the unexpectedly-memorable lines of this for me were so personal: even though we've brought our children, one of whom doesn't understand the meaning of silence, but babbles in his own language like clear water running in a stream, or the lake water rippling
Posted 06/15/2014 05:35 AM
r1manchester:
always good stuff from this lady...always
Posted 06/15/2014 04:37 AM


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