When the mule deer stops
Behind a saguaro
One small, dry stone
Clinks down.

….. (Starr Pass, Tucson, Arizona, 7.2.13)

4 Responses to “stone”

  1. Nice poem. I like it. I count 18 stops, not the traditional 17. No problem.
    However, the atmosphere and mystery of the poem is ruined by the unfathomably mistaken word: clinks. This is a metal word (and glass); it is a sound we hear when working on a machine, like a car engine, or a water pipe of old, before plastic, or a gathering of keys. Do stones clink? Yes, some with a high iron content will make a clinking sound when they hit another like-minded stone (tho rings is better for this kind of stone). But the photo shows a hillside, soften by lots of grass. Good for deer to graze upon. No clinking there.
    A better word would be simply falls; or tumbles, or rolls down.
    Clinks is terrible; please change it, Mr Starr Pass, or I’ll throw a Carnegiea gigantic at you.

    • No grass. It’s a saguaro-dotted desert with some spiky underbrush, and the rock sounded strangely metallic. ‘Clatters’ seemed too strong for the tiny sound that confirmed the presence of the deer with long ears. Guess I’m going to have to suffer that Carnegiea gigantica in my face…

    • I guess I’ll stick my neck out and get hit with some of that Carnegiea gigantica too… I felt the “clink”, though oddly metalic in sound, kind of heightens the atmosphere of the place as described through the images presented. I think the sound effect at the end makes this poem. Perhaps the accompanying photo is not needed?

      • Thanks, G, for part-rescuing me from the bashing. I agree that the photo is superfluous (had thought that it might help). In view of the two photos Nori has just posted with her tanka above my post, I have now deleted my own photo of the desert and adjusted the tag. Now the ‘clink’ of the poem is even more brazen.

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