Posts Tagged ‘rocks’




Hundreds of smooth red stones—

we gathered them that summer

and spent days carefully laying them out

into a wide and winding red path.

It had no real starting point, no destination.

We tucked white daisies between the rocks.

We said it was for the fairies.

I wouldn’t have said it then, in fact,

I hesitate today to say we didn’t believe in them.

They gave us so much purpose.

Even now, I’m following that path.

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She does not choose
the flat rocks, the ones
that might stack like bricks.

She chooses a slender volume
of gray sandstone, rounded
to a point on one side,

and balances it on the beach,
point side up. The next rock
is also a misshapen thing … not

at all a likely candidate
for balancing, much less on its edge,
but with gentle fingers

Rachel sets it on its knobbed
end and moves her hands away.
It is not at all straightforward.

What balances, balances
through patience and some odd grace,
and Rachel adds an egg shaped oval

rock into the notch at the top and backs away.
The pile miraculously stands.
Though I try to turn my mind

toward metaphors for love,
there is nothing to get here
except the pleasure of sitting

beside the river, the hatch
catching in our hair, stacking rocks
one on top of the other, one unlikely

sweet spot at a time before they all
fall down.

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these rocks
that look
like stumb-
ling blocks
are cairns,
and I
have, with
such diligence,
been kicking
them from
my way—
oh foolish
who thought
that she
was lost.

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Gilgamesh, too, found rocks
in his path. They were like crumbs
for Hansel and Gretel, like
Ariadne’s red fleece thread.
It’s so hard, sometimes,
to see how we are being led.
We think we know the path.
We think we know something.


In a dream, I say,
It’s the rocks
that I just can’t let go of.


By the river, all the rocks
are softened, tumbled and smooth.
They are nearly impossible
to balance, to stack—
but possible it is.


So on the path
Gilgamesh, in his urgency,
smashed the rocks.


The ice
is thin.
The rocks,
flung underhand,
make such
satisfying holes.
Why is it satisfying?
The sound of shattering.
The sksksksksksk of pond ice resettling.
The hole.

Inside the stone,
it is dark.
Not like a shadow.
Like dark.


He broke everything
he needed
to find his way.


I do not know
why I break
what I need,
why I repel
what I love,
why I hold on
to rocks in a dream.


It’s not a path,
says my teacher,
it’s a beckoning.


By the continual
creeping of ants
a stone
will wear

A stone
thrown into the pond
will not move
for many, many, many years.
A stone
thrown into the pond
is not lost.


There is no permanence.


My son says, Mom,
they’re all so beautiful,
every one of these rocks.
We toss them,
rock by rock,
into the river.

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