Friday, August 12, 2011



The children find me here on the rock—
four girls and one boy, they climb up,
and spread out their towels to sunbathe.
Jenny, April, Autumn, Holly, and Sean.
April says everyone else has gone to chapel.
I tell them Indians used to sit here…
that this is a sacred place.

O Great Rock, balanced here
between setting moon and rising sun,
tell me your name!

I am Grandfather Rock,
grandfather to modern poets too,
young bards who come to dream their dream
in the woods…you hear that jazzbird?
He’s tapping out the base pattern.
jazzbeat on wood
bird chorus swells up
bless you my children
I bequeath you my stone savings
base pattern bones earth bones
marrow of the mother Mother Marrow Mother Mary
Great Goddess come dance on the bones of our good mother
O mother love how can we dance on your bones?
Make us know that we are free
in the trees in the greening

Youngbird flutters joyous wings to waning moon
achieves air and sails into birdsong
turns on homing wind and calls, Jazzbird!
finds his throat liquid warbling riverhood
manheart splits through throatcry, Prometheus!
You old fire lover man lover,
earth water fire earth water fire,
you brought air too, didn’t you

Wind blow gently on liquid heartfire,
Motherbones dance to the base pattern,
Jazzbird, God, blow gently on heartfire.

The children have left, having found and taken
what they needed from this place
quickly and surely as children do.
I am alone on the rock in the trees
in the blue circle of Time,
Grandfather Rock, Open Sky,
Golden Sun, Silver Moon, Myriad Birdcall.
I bow. I offer thanks, and promise to come here again.
--Barbara Smith Stoff

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