19 July 2010

Parable of the Stonecutter

Strong hands and hard head,
he took up the hammer
years before the man he became
understood implications of choice.

The hammer swung slow but sure.
Muscles fired by alien expectations
that demanded perfection, true, square,
and never acknowledged 'good enough'.

Years passed, stones piling up like leaves
fallen from the trees around him.
Obscuring his vision, hiding the truth
and that hammer coming down, infinite.

'The next stone will be the best one yet'
A desperate declaration through clenched teeth.
But the next stone just led to the next stone,
slipping from hands scarred and bloody.

Winters passed, stones at eye level.
He looks up through the fog of his breath
to see the trap, a fortress inverted
with his heart at the center, in silence.

Sinking, falling, scoured knees in the grit
with air rushing from his lungs trying
to breathe in a world devoid of oxygen,
forehead pressing cold steel hard to the bone.

Spring, unnoticed, awaking suddenly
in a haze of heat and sweat and dull panic,
blinking hard against crystalline sunlight
as he stares at the hammer in his hand.

Baking heat in the unintentional furnace
arisen around him, with stones uncaring,
he raises the hammer with trembling arms.
Stones shatter, and his true choices begin.


  1. Dude, this is mighty, mighty hot!
    Did I ever tell you that I get such a kick out of your tags? I think my favorite is the finding my ass with a flashlight one

    Peace ~ Rene

  2. Wow. This is deep. How do you come up with this stuff?

  3. Fantastic!
    I love the last bit. Somehow, you read this and think this is a mad man who thinks he's on the right track and choosing the right things. But around the time of "his true choices begin", is when you realise that the pace and relentlessness of piling up those stones was the adrenaline of grief (that's what I think)...

  4. YEAH! Shatter those stones to oblivion! And now you can wipe off the dust and move past them.

    Loved that. Oughtta be in hard print that.

  5. IG, you rock (no pun intended, honest). I cannot imagine reading a more profound decription of being lost in your own life, something that probably resonates with almost everyone on some level.

  6. mmm that is wonderful....when does the erosion begin to wash it all away....stone is no match for wind and water and time.....i have missed reading you!!

  7. That was good, I really enjoyed it.

  8. Hope this means you're poppin' a few rocks yourself!

  9. I get it Irish...
    And as always the power and rawness shatter through.

  10. Very Aesop's Fable-ish. Nice.

  11. It makes me realize that even the firmest of foundations can be shaken.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...