Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.
From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.
~ Charles Simic ~
(The Voice at 3 A.M.)
We used this poem a writing prompt in my writing group a while back and I am still held captive by its brilliance. Simi’s words hold extra power for me because I spent the first 18 years of my life surrounded by stones, rocks, fossils geodes. I’ll tell you why, my parents were serious “rockhounds” they collected, cut, polished and traded rocks! This slice of a geode is from their collection.
Geodes are so welcoming
they do certainly invite you to come inside
and explore whole new solar systems.
Where does this one take you?