August 16*

an eskimo carver listens for the shape within the stone

i walk the beach
pick up stones that look interesting—
               wet colors of blood, pearl, night, fire
               patterns of marbled wood, jupiter, nebulae

               but they are all smooth warm energy in my palms
                              (who needs crystals?!)
               I hold them and walk

i hear no shape
i hold the shape

               they are done, complete.
               their stories are told, exactly

i toss them far out       plop, plop, plop
               thinking
                              how many centuries before
                              they’re back to the beach

in new, still-completed shapes
telling
new stories

*Copyright 2010 by Luther Allen. This poem appears in The View from Lummi Island.

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