In Praise of Stones (Written August 28)

In Praise of Stones


For many years I’ve collected stones,

From beaches, at the bottom of cliffs,

Along country roads, or in fields


Where they pop up like mushrooms,

Hosts of them. Every stone is different,

One of a kind, just as every human being


Is different. But some are more interesting

Than others, more eye-catching,

For whatever reason. We walk over


Hundreds, thousands, or skip right by,

Then suddenly, one of them, perhaps

As large as our fist, perhaps so small


It’s a wonder we noticed, makes us stop

And look again, just one of them, among all

The others. Something attracts us, in a way


That we’d find┬áhard to explain, if pressed.

It could be that it’s perfectly round,

Or that it’s heart-shaped, or egg-shaped.


It could be the unusual color, or the fancy

Markings, or the fact that we can see

Faint traces of a fossil, whether real


Or imagined. It could be the weight of it,

Or the feel of it in the palm of the hand.

It’s this one we want, and no other.

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