Rocks that fill my heart

dark cradles me
granite and obsidian
rocks that fill my heart

hands holding granite and obsidian rocks

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Sleeping with Granite

Me in bed with my bipap mask on and a big hunk of granite on my belly.

Me with a bipap mask on and a big hunk of granite on my belly.

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because hard objects are comforting
In a way that soft objects can never be

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because my father knew he’d die by December
So he hand-picked rocks as holiday gifts

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because my parents chose this particular rock
Shaped like a heart, heavy like a grieving heart

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because its heaviness anchors me
And tells me where my body is

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because I sat with my family on mountainsides
Made entirely of granite as far as you could see

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because it sings me rough but soothing songs
About the feeling it gets in the noonday sun

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because granite made friends with me
Before I had human friends

I sleep with granite on my belly
Because it reminds me of the Sierras
And the Sierras remind me of my father

I sleep with granite on my belly
I sleep with a bag of stones
In a shirt pocket oer my heart:
Plain grey rock with indentations
Volcanic rock with lots of holes
Tiger’s eye, Lapis lazuli, Schorl, Jasper
Amethyst, Orange Agate, Spectrolite

And all of these
In their way
Tell me I’m home

“All we need is time, but time’s too damn unkind” (*)

my dad understood
the language that rocks speak
and befriended them

he was fluent in
mountain, rock, forest, star, tree
listened to them all

the week he died
I showed him my rock friends
he respected them

after he was dead
I received a package
full of granite chunks

granite connects us
sure as DNA and love
granite mountainsides 

my only regret
not sharing rock friends sooner
while we still had time

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A Series of Short Poems About Rocks

These aren't quite haikus, though they're heavily inspired by them. To my mind, they're too subjective, and tell too much of a story taken together. I like them both individually and all together. So I put pictures in between them to divide them up in the reader's eye. So that you can see this is not one long poem with many stanzas, but many short poems on a common theme. And the theme is rocks, and my relationship to them. I hope you enjoy reading at least some of these, as much as I enjoyed writing them. Just take the time to read them as separate poems, one at a time.


Rocks sing constant songs
Avalanches, quarries, lava
Songs from where they came

Rocks sing constant songs
Sand and dust and memories
Songs for where they'll go

Rocks understand
Eruption is birth to them
Rocks know birth

Rocks understand
Sand is death to them
Rocks know death

Rocks understand
Sand can form into sandstone
Rocks know rebirth

Rocks resonate with
The rocks in the ground
Rocks are social

Rocks in my hand
Sing only in tactile ways
Rocks talk through touch

I can feel a rock
Telling me and other rocks
Of its secret past

I can feel a rock
Resonating with my bones
I can speak rock

Bones are made of rock
We are each carrying round
Rocks inside us all

One can throw a rock
One can make a stone castle
Rocks hurt and protect

Rocks are made into
Stonehenge and cathedrals
Rocks make things sacred

Holy is not made
Holy already exists
Rocks are holy

In my pocket
Pieces of sacredness
Kept in form of rocks

Agate is my friend
Fiery, smooth, and translucent
She sits in my hand

Schorl egg in hand
Black with a soap-like texture
Warding off bad dreams

When I close my eyes
Amethyst has same color
As the Mother Tree

Amber holds the sun
Yellow, red, and fiery orange
Sunset sparkles depth.

Lapis is a world
Deep blue with islands of gold
Yet fits in my hand

Unobtrusive brown
Spectrolite is secretive
Flashing blue and orange

Tiger eye's well named
Glints flow from depth to surface
Like a cat's eyes

Sitting by the road
I splay my legs to the sides
Stack rocks on my knees

Grey pebbles have
Just as interesting stories
As precious gemstone

It was plain grey rocks
Who kept me company
When no one else would

Grey rocks said I had
Place in the world beyond
Human social world

Grey rocks sang
Of avalanche and mudslide
Of death sand and love

When grey rocks sang
All the ground seemed to rumble
With their wisdom

Grey rocks are not dull
They are underestimated by
Those who look with eyes

Rocks beneath our feet
Rumble to each other now
All around the world

Rocks in my hands
Tell me that I am real
Rocks in pockets too

Sitting in my hands
Rocks keep silent company
Unobtrusive friends

 

 

 

Awe

Awe is where wonder and fear collide
And we stare out to the stars meeting the sea
And we wonder is there a place in this world for me

Awe is where my heart turns into a stone
A living, pulsating stone of many colors
That move out of the way to make room for each other

Awe is where the stones meet the ocean
In caves that took millions of years to erode
And my body tells me this is your second home

Water and earth can mean so many things
The soil of the redwood rainforests
The stone caves carved by water seeking the sea
The river rocks with holes all through them
The monsoon season in the desert rocks
The rivers carving canyons
The tiny creeks wetting tiny amounts of soil
The springs of water flowing out from in between the rocks
Waterfalls crashing down with caves behind them

And all of these things are sacred to me
And all of these things are part of me
But the one that means the most
Will always be the soil in the redwoods

Awe is where wonder and fear collide
I am where earth and water unite
I am in awe of the collision
I am in awe of you and of me
We are made of the stuff of the earth
We are made of the stuff of the water
I have only to look at you
To see a metallic daughter
With the earth kept tight inside
Like a vessel full to bursting
And I have only to look at myself
To see moistened soil from the forest floor
And I could see even more
The plants that grow, wither, and die
And decay to become part of me
The wind with a sigh brings down
Dead redwood needles and cones

And it doesn’t matter where you go
Or who you are
You have only to look at the ground
Below your feet
Or up at the stars
The clouds roll overhead
A thunderclap hits a little too close
And that beauty and awe is back
But you’d better run home

That Dream Where I Stopped Fearing My Feelings

A river flows away from all the stones
That hold me on the ground beneath my feet
It carries in its current more unknowns
It holds me in its arms, and moves so fleet
So fleet that I can scarce come up for air
No chance to grab onto the wall of rock
I must allow the river now to bear
My flailing body far too weak to walk
I float away until I reach the sea
I have no means to keep my head afloat
The waves of feeling lash and flail at me
And I will drown, the water fills my throat
     But all at once, I let the waves crash through
     And gills appear where only lungs once grew