Originally posted 12/10/2012.

I hold great love
for stones:
the ones I climb,
the ones I throw. I try to listen 
to their gray whispers, I try 
to follow their directions.  

Maybe you feel that too.  
Maybe you are meant
to climb the largest ones,
freestyling up
past ever-present death
without making
a mark upon them;

maybe you’re destined to build
garden walls, fortress walls, paved roads;
prisons, temples, or something
that serves as both;

maybe you are supposed to cut them
until they represent another thing
in its heaviest incarnation.  Maybe
you are fated to release
the deities inside them, or maybe 
you were built to hurl them.

Will you recreate 
in your brief life 
all the millions of years
we’ve already spent 
learning to do these things?  
It’s hard to avoid when the big love
we have for stone carries us there.  

For now put your face on the boulder in the path, 
cheek to its cool black nubble.  Pick up
a piece from the ground and slip it 
into your pocket.  

Carry it around with you,
worry it with your thumb and maybe
after a long time it’ll be a touch smoother 
than when you started — and still 
it will look not much different
than when you started.

If you lose it or toss it
it will wait patiently
wherever it lands
for the next pocket,
the next slingshot,
the next place it is needed.

Or it will not. It may disdain us
or ignore us.
It may not have registered much, 
if anything, 
of you or of any of us
who have ever touched it.

It may tell anyone who finds it
nothing about you

that you would recognize
as being your story.

Your story isn’t singular.
Neither is mine.
There’s no grand need
to recall them or us.

We are just part of the story
of Stone, part

of the Record Of Time
that began long before we did
and which will only end long after 
we do 
and are forever forgotten.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Stone

  • Eileen

    We used to live at the headwaters of a clear creek with a stone littered bottom. We live in middle Tennessee, so when I found coral, I knew just how very very old that would be. Holding it in my hand simply blew me away. Holding eons and eons of history.
    And the smooth ones spoke of eons of water polishing. It always made me wonder how long it would take to get rid of my rough edges. 🙂

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