(Local marble in a road embankment, Evoramonte, Portugal)
(After Dudley Zopp’s “Geologics”)
It’s much quieter now. Boulders lie peacefully. A gentle wash of slate litters the hillside. Tree roots caress granite outcrops like old lovers, while igneous and metamorphic sleep together in erratic lineage, allowing lichen decades to creep across their backs. Lumpy ridges, glacial till dotted with ponds and marshes, eroded roots of volcanic chains -- permeable or impermeable, but all waiting for exactly nothing.
Dappled across each individual stone, and together spread out in pattern, speckled tableau, three shades of gray, maybe a pink, some brown or tan—dappled memory.
Throw them farther, farther, each satisfying plunk or plink its own music, song of boys and the bored, the nervous conversation, the rocky frustration. Throw another stone, a composition complete and pleasing.
What stories laid here, this northern wall fitted to keep out or in some something, or maybe just to get the damn things out of the way, or maybe no stories at all, only the stony work of hard silence.
Go deep enough, you run into a stone.
We didn’t have stones there. Florida sand, coral reef, coquina rock, limestone not too far beneath the surface: porous, all porous. Something was missing.
So basic. So useful. So often in the way.
Every spring a new crop, winter gifts, glacial rubble, tumble and heave.