Sticks and Stones

my bones will mend

from sticks and stones

but wounds from words

could kill me


Nick Stone wrote this poem after reading a news report that yet another child had climbed on a chair, tied a rope around her neck and hanged herself because of cyber-bullying. The last text she had received was from a classmate and said: “Just do it.”

The poem turns on its head the traditional but misguided and sometimes dangerous parental and teachers’ advice about verbal bullying.

Nick will give any organization or individual the non-commercial rights to use this poem in any way relating to preventing bullying of any kind or in mitigating bullying’s effects on its victims. His poem “The Stutterer”, in Fragments, describes his own childhood pain from being tormented for his stutter.

The poem is graphically notable because of its right-margin justification, suggesting the abrupt speech pattern of a person suffering from the affliction of stuttering.

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