stone words

The language in our heads

is lightly carried.


So tell me

where the words are.


In your brain

or tongue?


Or flung on air

to drift along

the where and why

of time?


Strange to find


those ghostly whispers

of our notions,

cut in stone,


giving them status

over blood and bone.    

Note  This poem was written for the stonecarvers / lettercarvers Eric Marland and Bettina Furnee after I'd been visiting them and looking at their work, respectively. Subsequently Eric Marland asked permission from me to carve the poem (it was actually one of three pieces on the subject) onto a tablet of lithographic stone. The original carving was sold to a buyer and I have lost track of its whereabouts. However Eric has made quite a few cast copies and one of these is in my possession. The stone original is 'soft stone' so afforded Eric the opportunity to work a relatively small and delicate script for stonecarved letters, I gather. His piece was exhibited and received very positive attention as a work of lettercarving. The poem itself, of course, explores the strange disparity between the abstract nature of thought and spoken words and their very solid properties when made into script and carved in stone. So much so that they outlast their creators.

(a speech for stonecarvers)