Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
13 March 2014

“While Trying to Make an Arrowhead in the Fashion of the Mattaponi Indians“: a poem by Kevin Powers

By kevin powers

We are born to be makers of crude tools.
And our speech is full of cruel
signifiers: you, me, them, us. I
am sure we will not survive.

No. I am only certain that the
pine trees that ring this lake in Virginia
are occasional, that I sit between them
at the water’s edge,

cast two stones against
each other and rest.
For we go down
through these
terrible hours
together.

***

Kevin Powers is an Iraq war veteran whose award-winning first novel, The Yellow Birds, was published in 2012. His debut poetry collection, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, will be published by Sceptre next month.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK