Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Deep Cove Rainy Day Outing

I was cold and so hunger
I could have eaten stone soup,

as we zigged and zagged
our way along
the edge of Deep Cove Bay,
in drizzle rain

over and around clammy boulders
and soggy sand

– me, in nasty spirits –

for the weather was a rascal,
a pebble had hitched a ride in my boot,
and I felt a hissy fit a brewing . . .

Then, you took my hand and murmured:
it’s always the pebble in the shoe –
a little saying that we shared

and, with those words, I smiled
and let the misty grandeur of the place
float round me, like the spell of a story

as you set about putting my boot to rights
and said:  I don’t know about you,
but I’m starving. 

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
 – Muhammad Ali

notes:  The prompt from Poetry Jam this week is “pebbles”.

Stone Soup is an old European folk tale in which hungry strangers come to a village with an empty pot which they fill with water and a large stone and place over a fire.  The villagers are curious and ask what is being cooked and the travellers reply that they are making “stone soup”, which would be wonderful if only they had a few carrots . . . seasonings . . .  potatoes, and so on.  The story is an allegory about the value of cooperation.

photos:  Deep Cove (bay and restaurant) District of North Vancouver – W. Bourke 

© 2014 Wendy Bourke


  1. Sometimes a few words said by the right person, at the right moment, can change one's day. I am glad you could then appreciate the beauty of this lovely looking location. You did not have stone soup but your pizza looks very appetizing, Wendy!

  2. I like that expression "It's always the pebble in the shoe." I think it is a terrific metaphor for all of the little irritations of life that cause a person to have little 'hissy fits.' Smiles. But then again, if a person is cold and hungry they have good reason to be irritable, I think. I know I can be a real grouch if I am starving!! If that is a picture of the food you had, yum.

    1. Yep! That's the pizza we ordered - and it was grrrreat! Smiles

  3. I loved the language and the insight it gave me to what I imagine is a memory.

  4. the little pebble in the shoe will distract us from the beauty that surrounds us..the little discomforts...i am glad that you let it go...and were able to enjoy......

  5. That pebble .. I had not heard that idiom.. but it's a great reminder to focus on the bigger picture.. and pizza with friends seems to be a great way of dealing with those little nasty things.

  6. It's always wonderful to be with a loving companion who never fails to work to bring a smile..even the tiniest irritation would vanish...a beautiful take on the prompt Wendy :)

  7. I like the saying about the pebble in your shoe. And I am familiar with the stone soup legend. Glad you were able to let it go and enjoy the day.

  8. Loved this and the pebble in your shoe. Sounds just like my sister. Wonderful poem.

  9. Hi. Much enjoyed this….especially the stone soup reference (thanks for the note too) and "a pebble had hitched a ride in my boot."

  10. Ha...the pebble in the shoe for sure. What a picture you give us...and it is so lovely to have someone who cares alongside for the journey. That pizza looks delicious! I'm officially starving now too!

  11. Ive made stone soup with a girl scout troop and had enough pebbles in my shoes to build a small mountain...Great Poem!

  12. Lovely, Wendy!
    May we take care of the pebble in our shoe...

  13. Reminds me of a couple other scenes from books...Princess and the Pea (sometimes you are just more sensitive) and Prince Charming (placing that perfect shoe on Cinderella). Either way, you get a happily ever after!

  14. What a wonderful vignette of a special moment, Wendy. Lovely write!

  15. I really enjoyed reading this poem because it shared a tone of humor and desperation that I often run into once in a while, and that saying, "its just a pebble in the shoe" is memorable enough for me to use when I get steamed.

  16. I like that you two share that saying. A charming, honest poem.