Stone Soup is from Quattro Books (c) 2014


As its title suggests, this book is inspired by the old poetic folktale in which three travellers enter a village and open the minds and hearts of the townspeople by inviting them to contribute whatever they can to a simple meal that begins with a stone: a gesture that dispels fear, forges connections, and nourishes the entire community.


In Stone Soup an accomplished poet shares her love for the world. Kate Marshall Flaherty’s fine poems travel through a variety of cultures, landscapes, beliefs, though always coming back to home and family. One poem at a time, one stone at a time, she creates a rich work, grounded in affection for the here and now, but always reaching toward the spiritual. – Elizabeth Greene

Kate Marshall-Flaherty is the poet of the Luminous. With her poems we are always present on both sides of the membrane simultaneously – profoundly embodied, yet connected to Spirit and Mystery at the same time… Her pleasure in the playfulness of language is evident in this book, as always, and so is her gift for both observing and noting the emotional resonance of concrete “things”. – Sue Reynolds


Sample Poems from Stone Soup


    Children’s Site at the ROM


Locky’s hair. Still blonde as beach,

drips into the huge box.

Goggles arc his brow.


He is lost–

In the grit-sand-shovel-brush-away-inspection

of it all; blowing dry earth

from bone, exposing ribbed ridges,

sweeping grit from grooves in vertebrae.


He goes deep,

            concentrates with every cell,

crawls over the lip of the sandbox


Into ancient sight,

gets right back to bedrock

and into fossils.


He doesn’t read

the “keep out” sign,

lost as he is

in history’s hairline fissures,


and mysterious mounds.


Deep in dirt

and the now

absorbed in desert dust


he becomes

the dig.

A Mouse’s Prayer


O constant moon,

you illuminate my tracks,

almost imperceptible

atop this thin blanket

of ice-crusted snow.


May you hide my scribblings

and nibbles

in shadowy corners,

and reveal for my shiny eyes

pearls of hard corn, crumbs

and paper boxes of flakes

I can gnaw holiness into.


Send a beam slantwise

into the farm window,

drench the dresser drawer’s raggy nest

of tattered flannel

where my babes lie opaque

in woolen scraps;

where my warm lima beans

nestle together dreaming


big mouse dream

of nut butters

and flecks of sharp cheddar.


I will scurry my prayer

across the stone mantel

beneath the clock:


My blessings on all cracks

            and cubbyholes,

my thanks for all things small

            and with seeds,

my wish for protection

            from owl eyes and traps,

and things with lids.


O moon, you see me

            when others do not,

you know my brown fur’s sheen,

            and you reflect for me

my own great smallness

in your immensely

            dark and speckled sky.


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