Sunday, June 5, 2022

Breaking The Stone


Breaking The Stone
When I left the forest for a wilderness
of pillars, hexed by a tinsel covenant,
the moon cried for me. Pines sparked with
white gems of her longing. Minerva's owl
called my name three times; still
I chose the thrown shadows of a fire
that burned just out of my sight.
Sixteen years I followed shadows,
ate them, dressed in them, became
what was cast in front of me instead of
its birthing light. Stone I owned held no fire,
only chill when my foot left its face.The
pulling promise that scorched my hand
never could be grasped.

At last like a widow's first laugh,
there came the reaping breath of what is,
carousing down columns to lift
my short hairs with the brush
of owl's wings above me,
spread wide to carry me home.
Then the orphan moon

put away her tears
and blazed in the lavender sky.
Pine-wind recited in the meter of stars,
and I was their matchstick,
Gaia's fuse for a flameless firework
filling the amaranthine wood
against the dark end.
In my hand
I took the gift-feather
from the owl that called my name
and with it, wand and talisman,
without any heat at all,
I broke the stone.

June 2022

a draft poem for
Note: This poem could use some additional work, but I am posting it in its infant form til I can find what else it needs.
Images: Owl and Pillars, author unknown, via Sunday Muse Fair Use  Image source 
Owl and Moon, ©Alan Perry, via internet Fair Use


  1. Daresay, how could you possibly improve on a poem that breaks the sound barrier? I love putting away tears, lavender sky, flameless firework. Breaking the stone's grip.

  2. This gorgeous poem speaks to me of freedom and the awakening to knowing the power is within our own hands. So many glorious lines that hold the fragile feel of discovery. I especially love the line with the widow's first laugh. Your infant poem is stunning wisdom to me Joy! I love it and I am delighted to see you at the Muse!

  3. more stones need breaking, yes? more moon-light and less shadows cast by burning-light ~

  4. Following shadows instead of birthing light, that is a powerful statement. It made me ponder on the ghosts that follow me. To me the gift of feather is magical and a reminder we have the ability to navigate our way through the darkness. Love your perception.

  5. "I followed shadows, ate them, dressed in them" Oooh! Oooh! Wonderful.

  6. I find it to be true that a course of tests and fires are needed to acquire the weapons strong enough to break the bondage and weights of stone.

  7. Joy, I may have written this in the past, but I honestly feel like your poetry so telling stories that I cannot fully comprehend - I wish I understood all the symbolism you've employed her! Also, I loved this line so much...

    "the reaping breath of what is"


    much love,
    David [ben Alexander]

  8. May age teach us all to be "flameless firework." A soul's journey poem, stepping in "shadows of a fire" for three nights to find that heat arrives from "what is" -- a combustion and source beyond stone pillars, impressive and alluring as they might be. May the feather of the owl write all that must be said.

  9. You had me at the description of the shadows, as qbit observed. I also loved "the widow's first laugh"! That's as apt a line as I think I've ever read. And of course, you know I love the bird and mythological references. Like David, I feel that I'm not grasping all of it, but there is clearly a deliverance here following a long cold period of being essentially starved of one's own natural self, and the resolution is achieved by different means than expected.

  10. more and more i find i have less in common with society, with what it wants or needs from me, and always, i get nothing in return

    "but there is clearly a deliverance here following a long cold period of being essentially starved of one's own natural self, and the resolution is achieved by different means than expected." yeah, what shay said. i want to break that stone. draft or not, i think this poem is perfect

  11. It feels like a journey that had to be taken, before arriving back at the starting point. Losing ourselves before we find ourselves. I love the opening scene of glittery night.

  12. So many beautiful lines, Joy. It is always such a pleasant stretch of brain yoga to experience your words. I love these lines in particular:

    I chose the thrown shadows of a fire
    that burned just out of my sight."

    "Then the orphan moon

    put away her tears
    and blazed"

    But the whole magical narrative is so compelling and has such an age-old magic at work feeling. Beautiful as ever, Joy. You give us an edge of hope amidst the dark. <3


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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