Skipping stones

Pun intended. I’ve missed a few days on the small stones project but I have two very good excuses. First is a new doggy addition to the family — seasoned as I am, it’s a wonderfully disrupting element. Second, I’ve been participating in an online poem-a-day workshop with Sage Cohen and the bulk of my creative efforts have gone gallumphing happily off in that direction.

Since this one will never be submitted for publication (and is all about this blog’s totem fruit) I present it here. The assignment was to shamelessly imitate a favorite poem, even to frankly stealing words, lines, phrases we particularly admire.

There is quite a bit to admire about Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo” and my theft really is brazen.

The original startles me every time I read it.


We cannot know for sure
whether it was a love-gift, a trick
or a willing pact with the dead
but this mystery still wants us, still
gleams in all its power.

Otherwise we would not split it open
with such trepidation, such holy awe
at the blood richness of plutonic
garnets, the dark sweetness from all
the borders of itself bursting
like a star.

Otherwise we would not seek the core
we know it does not have, would not
prise the bitter pith aside
like the pages of a revelation:

we could never sense that invisible
dark center where procreation flared.

Being so exposed and so precious,
there is no place that does not see you.
You must decide what it means.


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