the language of stones

I finger hot river rock in my hand
– speak speak
I ask you to teach me of skins long shed
of the scales of the dead for the weights that fill your belly –

preach to me of herstory in love with history
of the silver fox who leaps to catch a vole,
of the snowy owl who has long grown cold for the shadowy chase of the hare –
I ask for the lessons of sand and soil
for the voices of fungi singing in the hollows and shallows –
explain how the earth shatters and quakes
I long to know the thunder errupting as the belly births
fire in heat for the fossils of the flame
to dissipate, as water steams and smokes –
these are the lessons I need named

but still, I can’t find stone’s essences

naturally I bend, contract myself small and squeeze –
blind-eyed finger pick in my hands
choose the only reasonable course –
Lick
to taste in wonder of grit
to map this story into my skin
to let striations vein the blood of my own
to soak myself in this composite amber
– perhaps
if I slow chew
crack
break teeth and cut tongue
swallow
I will find myself in angles and rounds
in these crevices and pits
polished by fire and water from outside in
opening myself to the compression of the downward weighing sky
knowing finally, what it means to die –
to lie
to crumble
to dust down to speckled sand
to sliver in shards
until I am nothing denser than quivers
not light enough, still, to feather myself on wings –
but born to carry the weight and language
of stone

“the language of stones”
© P.A. Kynda Palazy.
All rights reserved. 2018 –

inspired by the lines:

to reconcile
the people and the stones 

A Sort Of A Song – by William Carlos Williams

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17 thoughts on “the language of stones

  1. I LOVE the request for teachings from a stone……the history they hold, the things they have witnessed, have been the subject of some of my older poems, too. I love the creatures in this poem, and the wish to learn all the stone can teach. Thisis a poem I wish I had written. I so relate to it.

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  2. The last four lines of this…in-fucking-credible. This who poem reads like a birth, like a re-teaching, like a lesson learned from long walks among stones. It reminds me of myself long years ago when I was burned out and bored with the world. but one day, I discovered trees again. I learn from trees, you from stones. Somehow I think they both teach the same lessons.

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  3. Ah, such a journey for the exploration of this story is so significant, and how you express the desire to learn and seek in this verse is enchanting.-HA

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  4. as water steams and smokes -these are the lessons I need namedbut still, I can't find stone's essencesLife's lessons are perceived felt and experienced but remaining mysterious and tricky to anticipate. Still they are great experiences good or bad!Hank

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  5. Your poem reads like a chant and trance dancing under an enchantment which the enchanted knows real. I love it. This line: “I ask for the lessons of sand and soil”glided right into my heart and found a sister song there. The echo of their voices and movements is pure delight. I love, love, love this.

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  6. I don't even know what to say. I am speechless over your skill.”I ask you to teach me of skins long shedof the scales of the dead for the weights that fill your belly””to dissipate, as water steams and smokes -these are the lessons I need named””naturally I bend, contract myself””if I slow chewcrackbreak teeth and cut tongueswallowI will find myself in angles and rounds””born to carry the weight and languageof stone”All I can do is swallow.

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  7. Oh I love this… the language of stones, if we could just hear the eons of carvings from them, the slow grinding to silt, and how age gives us softness… there's a lesson in that.

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  8. Pat, this poem speaks to me on so many levels. It contains so many of my favourite motifs and really says something about the process of dying, leaving the physical world, becoming one with stone.. I am greatly moved by your words.

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