Two poems by Will Stone


    Death of a Trophy Hunter


Over the kill the larvae loom
she posted on Instagram
before the blood congealed,
paid in dollars for the fun.
Trophy hunter with a smile,
herself hunted down on the net
they published her name, address.
Not overheated reaction, not revenge
not justice even, the vigilantes said,
only the necessary removal of a stain.
By the noble king’s massive head
she makes the thumbs-up sign,
ajar the jaw in spasm, from within
came once the ancient roar,
final tearing of a tree’s roots,
blow of power you felt quiver
through the enclosure’s rock wall.
She walks away from the corpse,
prepares to update her webpage.
They wait, her followers, the last men,
itching to share conspiratorially,
as the beams of lighthouses sweep
for faith in the infinite darkness.


    The Bones of Faith


Ice wall at the end of the world.
Trapped there are the explorers,
with blunted bow, tethered like dogs
to the confused mission of the floes.
Their convictions placed in shrouds
slip into the dark waters of the sound.
On deck they line up in their furs
before the ice cliff arisen from nowhere
with confidence, the unexplained
that overhung the strongest human child.
Memories are all the pioneers have,
flapping weakly in cages on the deck.
The gold in the chest shines uselessly,
how easily insanity found their location.
Each held a flame to the blue grey whiteness
but what came back was a darkness, then
distance worked its knife into them.
The sun rose and possibility of survival
shared amongst them its gaudy promises.
In frost-caked corners and by waning stoves
they lay stacked like wood piles in snow.
Some prayed, called for Lord Jesus Christ,
but on the last day there was only the ice.
Then silence slipped on board, a grey fox,
to snatch the last reserves of words.


Will Stone

About Will Stone

Will Stone is a writer, poet and translator of French, Franco-Belgian and German literature, living in Suffolk. His most recent books are a translation of Wilhelm Waiblinger’s 'Friedrich Hölderlin's Life, Poetry & Madness' (Hesperus Press, 2018), 'The Art of the City' by Georg Simmel (Pushkin Press, 2018), and 'Surrender to Night: Collected Poems of Georg Trakl' (Pushkin Press, 2019). His debut poetry collection, 'Glaciation' (Salt, 2007), won the international Glenn Dimplex Award for Poetry. A second collection, 'Drawing in Ash' (Salt), followed in 2011. Shearsman Books subsequently produced new editions of both these collections, followed by a third, 'The Sleepwalkers', in 2016. His essays, reviews, poetry and translations have appeared in Agenda, Edinburgh Review, the Guardian, the Independent, The Irish Times, PN Review, Poetry Review, The Spectator, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others.