We return, always and forever, to the source
— Lou Keep (The Handaxe, The Thunderstone, The Ouroboros)
Say the first stone tasted Abel's blood
and all stones caught the appetite. Say a stone
once dreamt it held inside itself an ode
to a small mountain. Say a stone once dreamt
the revelation of its amygdaloidal core,
of all the time it sat as stone and then becoming
something else and time and more becoming.
It is perhaps the simplest form of making:
to strike one thing against another—how that kept us
one step forward from the elephants and crows.
It is perhaps a human thing to shape the world
until it fits in hand, so say some early someone
earned to teach a stone an early tongue
of edge and dig and cut, and say a stone
once dreamt itself the reason for a lexicon,
a grammar of instruction—say, like this,
not that—passed down from hand to mouth,
or say a stone once dreamt itself a point
of punctuation, lithic kin to the full stop
or inverse of the hyphen: separator of the skin
from flesh or flesh from bone; consider:
how unjust it is that butchery becomes a synonym
for artless, how there's craft in everything.
And say a stone once dreamt itself a tool, a practicality,
or say a stone once dreamt itself purveyor
of a guileless death, or single, sharp tooth plucked
from the world's wide mouth, or thunderstone—
tip of a lightning spear, remainder of a bolt
that cracked the sky. Say a stone once dreamt itself
to be a small and quiet god. And who am I to question
the criteria for worshippable things?
Mine would consist of anything that calls to mind
how small we are, the bounds of human scale.
Say a stone once dreamt itself an eon
in a resting pit, returned
from earth to earth, and kept on