A Stone Diary

At the beginning I noticed

the huge stones on my path

I knew instinctively

why they were there

breathing as naturally

as animals

I moved them to ritual patterns

I abraded my hands

and made blood prints


Last week I became

aware of details

cubes of fool’s gold

green and blue copper

crystal formations

fossils    shell casts

iron roses     candied gems


I thought of

the Empress Josephine,

the Burning of Troy

between her breasts,

of Ivan the Terrible lecturing

on the virtues of rubies.

They were dilettantes.


By the turn of the week

I was madly in love

with stone. Do you know

how beautiful it is

to embrace stone

to curve all your body

against its surfaces?


Yesterday I began

seeing you as

desirable as a stone

I imagined you coming

onto the path with me

even your mouth

a carved stone


Today for the first time

I noticed how coarse

my skin has grown

but the stones shine

with their own light,

they grow smoother

and smoother

Pat Lowther, “A Stone Diary” from The Collected Works of Pat Lowther (NeWest Press, 2010). Copyright © 2010 The Estate of Pat Lowther. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Pat Lowther.

Source: The New Oxford Book of Canadian Verse in English (Oxford University Press, 1983).