Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Poem by Derek JG Williams

Photo by Michael Quigg


Like ground out cigarette butts,
Like radial tire tread,
His heels click
Against the grade of the highway,
Skating its twin yellow lines
With the lengths of his fingers
Outstretched like a magician.
There is a name for God
On his tongue
That he cannot speak
Without singing.

In each passing day
The world
Hides more than it reveals.
There are apples in his eyes.
He expects trees
To sprout roots from the seeds
Buried in his brain.
Blowing across mute tectonics
Are guitars budding in dirt,
Tuned by the wind.

In the desert he buried
The exquisite body of a cello
To press his ear to the ground
And hear the earth speak
In a language he understood
And knew how to answer.

He dreams in music.
His song is ever-playing,
It doesn’t know to end.
Doesn’t know that songs
Are meant to resolve
In two to four minute intervals.
His hands clap in rhythm,
His head shakes in rhythm,
His hips rotate and
Turn to the earth.

He knows the pharaoh’s dance.
He dances fierce tape loops
And delays and reverb,
Uses terms like
Rubato and modal and raga.
In tablatures of missing notes
Only the sound remains.

From the still boughs of buildings
You’ve seen him
Stumble home at two AM.
He has amplifier ears,
A microphone mouth.
When he plays
The shriven and lean lengths
Of his body writhe.
And when he sings
Each breath smells of basalt.