Poem: The Next Stone

Stack of stones in calm water with seesaw in the evening sun

The Next Stone

This stone, here. That one, there.
Slide it just a bit. Find the balance,
so easily knocked askew
with one unexpected stone,
a brash wind. A hard rain.
I wonder, at times, if all the work,
the juggling of insanities is worth it.
It would be easier after all
to simply go mad,
become someone else’s problem,
the crazy uncle with bad hair
and a convertible. Unsafe at any speed.
This whole normalcy thing is work,
Not the kind of work you finish,
the kind that you do every day

or else.

At times I love my parents,
at times, I curse them, their insistence
on responsibility, weaseled into me
with the best of intentions for two decades
until it became a part of me, like a leg,
something to stand on.
Never mind the balancing, the circus
of emotions. Those weren’t allowed.
Or at least allowed to show.
I had to learn them on my own,
and it was slow going. Still is.

Drop a rock in the wrong place
and I dance like a dervish,
Mick Jagger without the lips or soundtrack
until you empty out the imbalance.
Because that is what I do.
Empty out and let the stones find their way.
Back to the zen I love so much.

Until of course,
the next stone.

About this poem

“You are always so calm.” people say. Well, maybe less so than I look. But I always get back to calm.

The picture is not one of mine. It is (legal) stock photography.



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