Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Polishing the Petoskey Stone

Lee Carter provided this poem to accompany yesterday's post:

Polishing the Petoskey Stone

Petoskey Stone (Hexagonaria) – a petrified colony coral 350 million years old, found on beaches in Michigan

My friend says, “Spit on it, and rub
the surface. See the pattern?”
In its hammock of lines I lift the pebble
the color of a rain cloud, cradle it
a thousand miles. Holding

the steering wheel in one hand, the grey
oval curved to my other palm, we move,
a ripple across the map to Kansas, while
I rub its softness in ellipses
Against a rough shore of denim and wool.

The second day it starts
to shine like glycerine soap. As I buff it
smooth, the print rises to the surface –
the silk stone honeycombed with
eyes opening from a long sleep

between lashes of fine spines. Born
eons ago in a warm sea over
Michigan, buried in a long, restless
dream, now the old coral wakes
to the waves of cloth.

Luci Shaw, from Polishing the Petoskey Stone, Selected Poems, Regent College Publishing (Vancouver, BC), 2003, p.8

No comments: