A Gathering of Stones
I gather stones from ocean, sea, lake, river, stream, and the dry desert wadi; to protect my straw life from the storm winds of time they line the walls, shelves, walks, and a small corner rock garden. Snow buries them in winter, the outer ones, and the inner turn invisible beneath plaster and book dust as these stories and poems renovate the narrative, revise my living space into something that might hold up to erasures of climate, and my life into—something. Long after my DNA strands become a statistical probability chancing in some descendants’ groins; long after the house falls to dust, the garden to weeds, the shores of the oceans and seas recede, advance, the lakes come and go, the rivers dry and flood, the wadi erodes to flatlands; long after all of this; a few stones out of place here in a row, there in a pile, might attract some little notice, a bit of curiosity. This flint tool from Baaka. This agate from Superior. Amethyst from Ontario. Lava from Hawaii. Mica from Pennsylvania. Polished smooth granite. In some way we will remember. Where did such stones come from? When? How did they end up here? Why? What story do they tell? Who gathered them in? And who after all will stop to notice; in what climate will these stones be uncovered? Perhaps by a robotic rover returned from Mars…
Poem ©2012–2021 Michael Dickel
All rights reserved
An earlier version of this poem appeared in Synchronized Chaos, November 2012.