The old granite stones, those are my people;
Hard heads and stiff wits but faithful, not fools, not chatterers;
And the place where they stand today they will stand also tomorrow.
– Robinson Jeffers (“The Old Stonemason”)
Some like headstones thrust into the earth,
or weather-carved phallic outposts
natives knew by name, those are my people,
my landmarks nodding now as I pass.
They have grown cold and taken shape
from the fires of molten violence—
cracked and fractured piles, wisdom
scattered in the grip of gravity at rest
to hum as homes for rodents and reptiles,
a tunneled settling of colonies to feed
a wilder world. Some pulse with life,
dress with thick green moss, after rain.
But those tattooed with colored lichen
first draw the eye to unravel art,
question what they seem to say—
all good listeners, patient to a fault.