At Christmas 1980 my Ma gave me a little book in my stocking called 'The Stone of Life and other poems' by a young girl called Kim Williams.
In 1980 I was 13 coming up for 14 and I liked poetry but not that much really - this book changed that. Because Kim Williams stopped writing her poetry when she was 15 - the last batch of poems in the book were written when she was that age. What stopped her poetry and her talent was cancer. The proceeds from the little book all went to charity and her words inspired me, as teen, I'm sure like many others, I used poetry as an outlet of angst and frustration - I still have a folder of my teen poems somewhere - they are pretty abysmal. The book has stayed with me, moved with me and last year when I rescued some novels from the attic I found it again and re-read. I see her words differently as a adult, yes there are angry poems but some of them show that she had a joy in her life - all the way through - she was mature beyond her years.
The Stone of Life
I saw a gleam at the dead of night.
It shone out clear,
Awoke the woodlarks,
Stirred the deer,
It shone on all, bringing life and death,
The stone of life.
Kim Williams written in 1977 age 14 (1963-1978)