Poetry Friday: “Stone-Kicking”

poetryfridaybutton-fulllI’ve been having fun the last few Poetry Fridays, writing about all sorts of things, from chocolate spleens to where to find inspiration.  So I thought I would offer up something different this week (I seem to do that a lot).  As you may know, I write primarily children’s poetry – but now and then it’s nice to sit back and write something geared to a slightly more mature reader.

I’m providing a recitation of the poem, as a number of my visitors have suggested to me that I should record more of my poetry.  Bbeing a voiceover artist, one would think I’d record poetry more often than I do! For all of today’s Poetry Friday posts, please visit Julie Larios’ blog; she’s hosting the festivities today.


I kick my dreams
like stones in the road
watching them bounce
happily ahead
while I dawdle
Dirt road, still damp
from yesterday’s storm
smells of pine and mud.
Gravel softly
sticks to slow feet
while sunlight tries
through thick poplars
to warm a meandering path.
I kick another stone, watching it
quickly skip
The joy, of course, comes not
from picking it up,
carrying it,
keeping it…
but from watching
where it goes,
how far it rolls,
and, when it veers
to the slick road’s edge,
setting it aright
with my foot
and flicking it
to the center.

© 2013 Matt Forrest Esenwine, 2-23-13

27 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Stone-Kicking”

  1. Yes, wonderful to finally hear the famous voice. I hope you record more of your poems to share with us. I like the reflective tone of this poem; it’s intimate without being self indulgent.


  2. Pingback: Poetry Friday: "Stone-Kicking" | Voiceover BlogTalk | Scoop.it

  3. Nice recording and poem, Matt. I tend to kick butternuts, wild apples, and whatever else lands in our road when my husband and I walk after dinner. Now I’m going to think about these as dreams (and hope they don’t fall apart like half-rotten butternuts!)


  4. Thanks, Liz. When I was writing this, I wasn’t sure if the message of the poem was going to veer positive or negative – and even when I finished, I wasn’t sure. So thank you all for your feedback!


  5. This is one of those poems that you’d like to share with kids in one of those poetry rounds. First getting their perspective and then the adult shares hers. I remember as a middle schooler one summer, a college kid had us discuss A Raisin in the Sun. Afterwards I felt I understood my father (who was very hard to understand) a little better. Memories and future goals. I thank you for that


  6. Hi, Matt. Your poem is filled with sensory images — the sound of the stone, the light in the trees, the smell of the fresh mud. It was fun to hear your recording. How did you get started in voice work?


    1. Thanks, Laura! Long story short….as a kid, I used to listen to a bunch of old-time radio shows of my father’s (‘Luxe Radio Theater,’ ‘The Shadow,’ et al), and that got me started writing skits and recording them onto his old Panasonic cassette player (I was nly 10 or 12 at the time!). From there, I got into acting while in school, then went to college for radio/TV/newspaper/theatre, got a job in radio broadcasting, and now here I am!


  7. I love this poem, Matt. It’s cool the way you BANG-started with the dream-stone simile and carried it through the poem without it becoming tired or pulling you off-track. As I read it, I think it was because you focused so much on the sensory stuff, with an occasional reminder of the central simile. For example,
    Gravel softly
    sticks to slow feet
    while sunlight tries
    through thick poplars
    to warm a meandering path.

    The “meandering path” brought me back to the dream, but subtly and quietly. Nice!

    I enjoyed this poem a lot and I also learned something about craft! Thanks.

    Also, thanks for the recording. Wow. Whadda voice, very expressive! I can see why you do what you do.


    1. Thank you, Steve. I wanted to be careful not to hit the reader over the head with the metaphor…that’s why I thought it would be more powerful to, as you said, bang-start it with the concept of ‘kicking dreams’ and then only make reference to those dreams via the stones. The way I looked at it, if the stones are metaphors for dreams, the entire scene can be allegorical…so why pull the reader out of that allegory by being obvious?


  8. Pingback: Poetry Friday: “The Search” | Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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