Rock and Sand

I

I find stones
that breathe
much slower than I do
to gather and stack.

They like each other so well
I don’t imagine my tower
will ever fall over.

II

Meanwhile
you labor through the night
shaping a dome of wet sand
into which you tuck each
of your wavering stones
like a gem.

III

We don’t have anything else
to say to each other.

IV

The cawing of the crow
waiting in the shadows
to perch on the shrines
we each leave behind
does not tell us

where all the color goes
after it has drained
from his wings.

Or what our shadows abandon
of the body that casts them.


In her recent retirement from university teaching, folklorist Madronna Holden has taken the opportunity to concentrate on her poems, nearly four dozen of which have appeared in the last two years. In addition to her ongoing collaborations with painter David Wolfersberger, which have appeared in Cold Mountain Review, Puerto del Sol, The Slippery Elm Literary journal, the Santa Clara Review and elsewhere, her solo poems have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, American Writing, Equinox Poetry and Prose, The Bitter Oleander, and many others. The community production of her play in poetic text, The Descent of Inanna, was the subject of a documentary aired on Oregon Public Television. She sees poetry as singing us to the gifts of beauty, presence, and meaning we have been born to.

Hourglass illustration by C.B. Auder (digital collage).

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