Beside the Creekby Judith WrightUnder the wavering water shine the stones,
rounded in ruby-colours and clouded white.Once I walked barefoot into that coolNever-ceasing flow. I gathered oncePebbles and ripples, the skimming rounds of light,And took them home.Now I am no such fool,no such blest and envied stupid childas to believe those colours, that once drygathered dust on a top shelf, heavy and dullas pages written, pages forgotten and filed.Here on the bank I sit unmoving; Iknow the ungathered alone stays beautifuland the best poem is the poem I never wrote.Or so I said, watching the summer through.But oh – years, time, you hoarsen here a throatthat sang all day without suspecting you;stiffen the hands that gathered rubies then,and open now, to show this dubious stone.
The poem can be found in -
Judith Wright - Collected poems 1942-1970
(A & R Modern Poets)