Richard Williams

Stone Pebbles


How carefully chosen.

Those little stones you scuttled,

by shape, size, sometimes colour.


And so how you carried on,

kept moving the beach

one pent up pebble at a time.


There would be a day, you said,

when one would reach the horizon.

It would all be worth it then.


Your effort so expended,

on all this flailing,

one helpless soul at a time.


Maybe you should have listened

to tide-sirens’ crackle hiss,

scooping us up, pushing us back,


Now you are so close to the water.

And we are relentless.

And we will not be denied.


We have been here before.


One Thousand Degrees

Sparklers traced across a childhood sky,

an I love you kiss or a simple heart.

Potatoes baked in ash-soiled foil,

a comfort cloak of bonfire smoke.

Time a wick still signalling back,

nerve endings seared by forgetfulness.

Pain less still after all these years,

for how I learnt to cover scars;

the toughened memento of skin,

the un-shed tears the unthought words,

the firework hissing in a sink-filled bowl.

Arguments, fights, the front door closing.

you driving away and driving me on;

flames burn cold in those who can’t feel.




* Sparklers burn at between 1000 and 1600 degrees Centigrade.

Richard Williams has had over 100 poems appear in print in the UK, in a range of magazines, including Acumen, Envoi, Frogmore Press, Orbis and South. He has had poetry nominated for the Forward Prize. His first collection, 'Landings', was published by Dempsey & Windle in 2018

Richard's blog is at