Monday, September 17, 2007

Chaff and Brine

These are the days of chaff and brine.
These are the days of wandering in the stone land
hearing the voice of the scorpion
and the scraping of the vulture’s shadow over rough rock.
These are the days of dry tears.

Where there are no blades of green.
Where there is no whisper of wind against leaf
but only the fall of stone on stone
and the heartbeat startled by the careless tread.
Where there is danger greater than that of an unkind land.

Called into the desert by smoke signals,
called into the stone land by the stones crying out
you have walked forever.
Who are you that you should have been
called into the waste by the scorpion’s voice?

The scorpion will guard her own child
and the vulture his own shadow.
Do not pause to set stone on stone,
that is the wind’s job. Yours is only
to hear, to listen and not pass by
scattering chaff in a land of stone.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow, that's pretty.

I came over from Weekend Wordsmith; have you heard of Rhian's Poetry Train? There's a link at my place. She'd dig this poem. Come jump on!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

You couldn't have done the Weekend Wordsmith thing over the weekend because I forgot to post the word until late last night. I apologize. Thanks for sharing your poem.

julia said...

Brilliant! So glad you jumped aboard the Poetry Train so I could read this. I really love these lines:
'hearing the voice of the scorpion
and the scraping of the vulture’s shadow over rough rock'

Really, really marvellous.

paisley said...

so stark and desolate.. i feel parched having read it... very well done...

Joy Renee said...

this makes me thirsty.

i can almost feel the brush of the vultures wings on my sand blasted cheeks.

welcome aboard the poetry train

Ann said...

Awesome poem. Welcome aboard the train!