Thursday, May 2, 2013

Prompt: This Stone Is Dancing on the Inside

Continuing the theme I discovered with Los Dave’s marvelous Stone Dead Forever project. 
I don’t think there’s actually a stone that says this. But there should be.

You pick me up from the dunes
where I had danced with sea oats
and crabs and rain
The sun and the moon and stars
You pick me up and hold me in your hand
Squeeze me
Toss me in the air
I feel the breeze for the first time
I want more, but you close your fingers
around me as you walk
I feel your heart beat in your fingertip
I feel your step vibrate again
And again
And again

You carry me
across the white sand, so broad
I see the seagulls wheeling overhead
Noisy noisy cries
You carry me into the waves
You walk in the water
It splashes me
Salt drops, not rain
If I had lips
I would lick it from your fingers

I see pelicans fly low over the waves
So close to the water
When they flew over the dunes
They were always so high high high

I watch the surf birds run ahead of us as you walk
Stone in hand
Your warm fingers contrast
with the chill of the ocean water
You kick up as you walk walk walk
So far, I have never moved so far
Will we walk forever?
Will I get to see the sun set over the water?

You lift me up, toss me again
The air sweeps past me with each move
And then you shift, plant your feet
Throw me far far far
I fly like a pelican low across the water
Until I arc down down down and
Into the water
Not like rain drops tap tap tap
Cold salt water all around me
I sink
into the sand
feel it shift around me
I am still
I see the blue sky
deepening above me

I can’t see the sun set
I see blurs of movement
The pelicans, the gulls
I can’t see you
I miss your touch
Your warm fingers holding me tight
I’ll dance here
until I am moved again

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing:
20 minutes

May word count:


  1. Prompt: This Stone Is Dancing on the Inside

    Kylie looked from the stones to the sage, and back to the stones. She bit her lip. She felt the gaze of the sage on the top of her head, as she bowed it in her kneel before the rug scattered with stones. She was going to fail--again. They all seemed the same, just stones.

    The storm outside rattled the shuttered windows, and the candle flames flickered. Kylie closed her eyes. She hovered a hand over the stones, listening for a change in the sage's breathing that might indicate which stone was the special stone, the one whose choice would show she was one of them--one who could be allowed to learn and to, someday, try to be a sage as well. But the sage was too schooled, and revealed nothing.

    Kylie opened her eyes and dropped her shoulders. "I can't tell. I'm sorry."

    "Perhaps the storm is interfering," the sage said. "Try again tomorrow."

    Kylie stood. "Perhaps," she said, meaning no such thing. There had been an excuse each time, and each time Kylie had tried again and felt nothing. She would not try again.

    _Just pick one at random_, Frank had suggested. _You could be right. And if you're wrong, they'll let you know._ Perhaps he had a point--this...nothing...was immensely frustrating. Wasn't it the prospective student who was meant to ask for one more chance, not the teacher who kept offering it? Offering it so much Kylie felt even worse when she kept failing.

    She turned to leave the room, and felt--something, like a tap on her back. She looked, but the sage was still kneeling beside the stones. She took a step toward the door, but found herself veering right. There was a pattern, tapping out, just slightly different than the sound of the wind outside. A stone was perched on the edge of a shelf, precarious, half over the air and shoved next to a glass bottle--Kylie was startled it had not shaken itself off.

    She lifted the stone. "This one."

    "Why?" asked the sage.

    "Because it's dancing on the inside," Kylie said.

    The sage smiled.

    1. Very nice! I got chills at the end! Good scene setting and character development in a tight space. Would love to see more!

    2. One of my FB friends said how much he liked your piece here, and I wanted to pass that on :)

  2. Nice poetry! I really liked the end.