Talking to Stones

for these stones are both judge and jury,
their eyes cold with striated contempt,
even the grass that tickles their ankles
has learnt to mock,
I have been talking for an hour,
the sun slides down eight steps to sit by my side,
democracy, I offer, see how far we have come,
what about technology, freedom, song,
why do you say the gods refuse my glass and chrome,
laughter rumbles deep within the weary granite,
perhaps it is scorn,
but what else can I tell a stone that someone rolled into place
a thousand years ago,
just where a carefully carved dome rested on its heels,
just where a swan stretched above a column that talks to the sky,
somewhere here is a message left for me to find,
something I would know, something I should know,
something the stones have waited this long for,
in a thousand years, you will be dust, I cry,
and someone will crane their neck to understand what I have become,
more than glory, more than ruin,
more than a taunting maze of unspeakable secrets,
I sigh, the sun leaves me and trudges alone downhill,
and all there is, is the unrelenting dusk,
one raised eyebrow of ancient stone,
and the silent disquiet
of another unanswered day.

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32 thoughts on “Talking to Stones

  1. And this is Gwendolyn Brooks from “The Children of the Poor”. The lines below are on the surface tangential at best to the above, but I think they do have a deeper resonance:

    “My hand is stuffed with mode, design, device.
    But I lack access to my proper stone.
    And plenitude of plan shall not suffice
    Nor grief nor love shall be enough alone
    To ratify my little halves who bear
    Across an autumn freezing everywhere.”

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      1. True, though I had more in mind the vocation of the poet today – in the sense of having no conscionable choice over whether to confront or evade – which she speaks of in the last two lines I quoted.

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        1. I am still trying to work out the impact of poetry as an agent of change, but that is no excuse not to participate in the expression of a contrary viewpoint where required. No one has that choice really, it is the medium that one has to consider. Maybe. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. the sun slides down eight steps to sit by my side…

    I love that image – it is beautifully conceived. But there is so much more to take away from the poem as a whole:

    just where a swan stretched above a column that talks to the sky,
    somewhere here is a message left for me to find,
    something I would know…

    Excellent piece.

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  3. This is really fine — the weave is ancient, present and prescient, the voices within stone balanced against the queries against silence which raised them. The final lines are magnificent.

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  4. I sigh, the sun leaves me and trudges alone downhill,
    and all there is, is the unrelenting dusk,
    one raised eyebrow of ancient stone,
    and the silent disquiet
    of another unanswered day.

    Beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your last few lines chant so loud into the bones. It leaves me with a pressure, an urge, a need to find answers and justifications for each day. Because without it, there is nothing… and nothing is a horror.

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  6. I really like the image of the sun sliding down to sit with you. I also like the thought of these ancient stones with all they have been around for, scoffing at human ideas. Perhaps we need to try to listen. rather than talk, to stones.

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        1. Ha ha.. I suppose whenever we contemplate a rich and long history, we wonder if we have done enough as custodians of our heritage. And what we are creating in turn for the future. Often, I have no answer! So yes, I think that’s exactly what they’re asking! ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. one raised eyebrow of ancient stone,
    and the silent disquiet
    of another unanswered day.

    So many strewn about that one feels necessary to forewarn them. They cannot respond the way we want unfortunately. So they stay in place unmoved! The fate of a deprived person!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

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