The Stones

The Stones


Winter begins in the stones. In a dream the sky house
gets closer as if it is trying to hear a secret or tell me one

but when I can read its lips I see it is just pretending.
In the car: stones from a trip to the beach.

A thousand miles from where we found them
for months they have rested in a drink holder

with no discernible nature acting on them,
no car tides or car gulls have hampered their stillness.

Now when we pick them up on a drive we marvel
at how cold they are on this mild first day of November.

You can press them to your hand, your neck, your cheek
and they stay cold. They are telling me a secret

without moving their lips or pretending to tell me anything.
They are coming closer without moving, like snow clouds.

10 thoughts on “The Stones

  1. Jeff Schwaner Post author

    Thank you for being here, Ann! This seems an odd time for you to be up–you didn’t put your clock ahead six hours, did you? At any rate it has been a busy and ugly week, and I’ll be glad to catch up with your week’s writing over the next day or so.

  2. pi314chron

    Jeff, I’m kidding of course, but I just HAVE to have this poem! I’ll trade you any three of my haiku…and you keep all publication rights! Deal?! *g*

    (A marvelous piece of poetic artistry whether you trade or not!)


      1. pi314chron

        Thank you for your kind and considerate reply, Jeff. But my offer WAS in jest, of course ( as you know!)…I would have to trade you 1000 of my haiku for you even to consider trading your “immaculate conception”!


  3. pi314chron

    Jeff, now that I’ve looked up tzu-jan and have begun to understand all its implications for the way I write haiku, I now know that you have given me the single greatest compliment I have ever received! I feel a little snobbish when I bow and say, “Namaste,” but I am sincere and am blessed to call you my friend.


  4. robert okaji

    On my windowsill sits a stone I picked up in France some fifty years ago. It, too, whispers, but I no longer speak French. Sometimes I pretend to understand. Sometimes I think I understand… Wonderful poem, Jeff. Keep listening to the stones.


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