• Marías at Sampaguitas

Prose by David Hanlon


Stone carving


(Including lyrics from Portishead’s ‘Strangers’)


My sea-bed: unkempt blankets, throws weave into one another: kelp strips, one

bunched up in a ball, the seaweeds’ gas-filled bladders, I gaze out my bedroom

window overlooking the night-darkened, ice-still street.


Even in places of quietude I wrestle to find order.


I count: seven glowing orb street lamps, three parked sports cars, each with slight

variations in colour and size but all illuminated robin-chest red under

the streetlight glare, five pairs of star-bright headlights approaching, in succession, speed-

steady, shopping items hushed along a store market conveyor belt.


Listening to Portishead’s Strangers and the nicotine head-rush of smoking tobacco, I look

to my right and notice the word ‘PEBBLE’, it is written on a cardboard box that my new

laptop speakers arrived in, it is the name of the brand of the speakers, I hadn’t known

until this moment.


I notice how high up the box is placed, elevated on top of a sea stack pile of carrier

bags and old posters, stuffed in the gap between my wardrobe and my bedroom wall: scuffed woodchip wallpaper, a lightly seasoned pebble beach, uncluttered, eyes trail the distance between each one.


I rethink my desire for a stone-body, shape it into a pebble: a pebble that can be skimmed

across an ocean, that can clatter against its counterparts, a speaker that can produce sound:


Did you realise no one can see inside your view?




David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales, and currently living in Bristol, England.You can find his work online in Honey & Lime Lit, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Into The Void & Barren Magazine, among others. You can follow him on twitter @DavidHanlon13

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