Daily Archives: November 8, 2014

Four Stones

Originally posted 9/28/2009; original title, “Remembering What Four Stones Said.”

There in the stream 
the first: 

white as fish belly
and small, so small.
It said the Way
has no sense to it, but
leads forward in any case.

The second:
black, seamed as wood
long submerged,

slick as a suspect.  It said that
if you could risk believing
that it offered solid footing,
you would find yourself
halfway there.

The third:
rusty skinned, top high and dry
above the current, solitary and distant.
It mumbled a secret worth hearing,
perhaps only minimally intelligible,
but still invariable and true.

The fourth
lay below the surface.
It was no more than a shadow
holding a threat of tumbling
and of immersion.
It urged and coaxed:
venture, it said;
leap, it said;
it said come now,
steady as you go.

That far bank was high and green.
There was sun
on the high meadow,
to be followed by
moon on the high meadow.
You fell in love with it at once
from this side of the stream:
it seemed a perfect place for dancing
with wet feet, wet shoes, 
and wet knees
still knocking with joy  
from the journey,

and so it was.

Gravedancers’ Ball

Originally posted 2/26/2011.

Which graves we choose
to tarantelle upon 
is less relevant
than realizing we all 
have the deep longing 
to dance on the grave
of some dead someone 
whose movement once
made us hate and rage.

We love to sin that light fantastic.
Can’t sit still — red, blue, 
left, right — love that happy dance.
How soft the ground, how haughty 
our heels. How good it feels to swing
on top of them; they can’t do a thing
about it. 

A beautiful American word,
revenge; it names
a toe dance of righteousness.
Everyone’s tapping. Some on top,
some impatiently waiting
their long delayed turn,
every smoldering one of us

wanting the last dance.