The Walk

I wake a full hour early
for the rare gift
of a walk in the woods
with my father.

He is a silent giant
among misty ghost gums.
I tell him, Watch!
See how fast I can run.

He doesn’t yell when I trip
and fall, but lifts me
with unfamiliar,
calloused hands.

At the end of the trail
I study my grazes—jagged
and bloody. He tells me
he’s leaving my mum.

On the walk home
I gaze at the gum trees
and fragmented clouds, thinking
they should look different somehow.

Ryan Stone

first published at Poetry Nook, 1st place Week 185

From the Sidelines

Do you know how it feels
to stand alone in a forest
in the caesura
of a gathering storm?

With a graceful pirouette
the north wind about-faces
and just as quickly
a sou’ wester replaces
the breathy, dry kisses
of long afternoons in the sun.
Drawing breath from your lungs
and heat from your soles,
lowercase twisters
scatter leaves with abandon.
There’s a pause,

it is electric,
then thunder above.
A first splash, the herald,
caresses your skin
and whispers of days
when you sucked the air in
and laughed until laughter ran dry;
when you danced and you sang
and timeless, you lay
entwined ‘neath an indigo sky.

In that place, alone,
your lenses will fail
and your notebook fall
by the by.
Your shutter can’t capture
the depths of magenta;
your pen,
the dreaming Magpie.

It’s a moment,
just a moment,
before the storm breaks
and the old song
resumes its same rhyme.

Do you feel it?
Can you grab it?
A resolution, of sorts:
to wring from
each minute
a lifetime.

by Ryan Stone

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Days

Sometimes she’s wildfire, burning through the night;
some days she’s a winter storm, ice and fury unleashed.

Sometimes she’s a shadow, neither fully here or really there;
some days she’s untamable, wild as rolling seas.

Sometimes I hold her close, as the world starts coming undone;
some days we fit together and I feel that I belong.

Ryan Stone

Click here for audio

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Dying Light

From my porch
I watch thunderheads
battering high noon
into bruised twilight.
I see you climb
from under eaves,
awakened
by a pressure change.
As the storm inhales
you leap and spin,
leap and spin
your web — knowing
your time to build
is fleeting.

Ryan Stone

Drought Break

The first splash,
a drum crash
on hardpan.
Tin roof hiss,
a slow kiss
that grows
into rushing
percussion.

New voices rise,
warbles and sighs,
from beneath the shelter
of tree ferns–
a chorus begins,
magpie trills
and woodwind,
as sound
to the outback
returns.

Ryan Stone

Another bite at dVerse quadrille #33 – Sound Off!

The Long Road

I drink all day
and then strike out
along that winding road,
where shadows flit
by leafy bough
and twilight waits
for no-one;

where failing light
births fickle fiends
who writhe and tempt
the absent mind.
In deepen wood
where mildew clings
to night’s cool breath,
a parting kiss

for a season
long since flown.

Ryan Stone

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Pulling Back the Sheet

It started as a scribble
in my yearbook
and ended
with an apology,
of sorts:
I wish I’d been more,
held your hand
when it mattered

and even
when it didn’t.

Ink lasts longer
than schoolyard buds,
wilted
before their bloom.
Notes we wrote
lend breath
to ghosts,

long after
pens fall still.

In this cold place
I see your face
as it was behind the gym;
where your lips
once tasted

of blackberries
and sunshine.

Ryan Stone

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