Thursday, April 06, 2006

Swing That Mallet from the Hip, Young Man, If You Hope To Split the Stone

We have made small sounds
close to the ground here,
the scraping of a foot, the
noise of our breathing, the
wind of dreams leaving
us through porous skin,
the dying echo of a dragging
chain upon the earth, the
scrape of stone moving
against other stone in
this husk of a palace we
built and let fallow for
all these eons.

Now covered with snow,
fallen from a sky Spring
chose to absolve of its sun,
these stones, this cracking
mortar, this remnant of
a thing we have forced
ourselves to forget,

It is a dark and inky stain,
burned further by the chosen
chemicals we have cleaved
to our flesh, etched into us
as acid falling to earth in
white slowly etches into
cracks of the broken
stonework of yesterday’s
bombed-out husk.

And we are reminded,
like those who awaken
clutching a note from
some former self, a thing
of great importance, but
written in a wraith-like
scrawl, illegible and
sweat through, no good
for anything better than
a haunting, and these
unrecieved messages
from ourselves gnaw at
us as we dig through
this wreckage, turning
over these musty
stones, our boots, so
worn at the heel,
dragging through
the wet abundance of
late-fallen snow, our
hands red at the knuckle,
our eyes swimming to


drthunder said...

Happy Birthday, Firehawk. Seems to me as though you have been swinging from the hip all year, my friend. If anyone can split the stone, it will be you.

Bill said...

I did not realize your blog's birthday was this month! Just one more event to add to the list.

I can really relate to the "swing from the hip" method. It works well for splitting wood as well.

It also works well as the metaphor... as I'm sure you know by now, from the hip is about the only way I know how to swing!

MB said...

wind of dreams leaving
us through porous skin

I love that image.

I find myself caught up in the emotional intensity of this piece, enjoying choice phrases, but feeling like I don't really understand it as a whole. There is such intensity here. But... I'm not sure. I'll reread it.

Is it indeed your blog's birthday, Mr. Tracy, poet of scars?! Well, then, happiest of happies and many returns of the day -- or month!

Firehawk said...


I had some really good replies to your comments, but the darned internet ate them, and I'm too lazy to retype them.

Thanks, everyone, for dropping by and commenting.

MB said...


Soulless said...

This reminds me: I hope to never lose any determination I have left; and dang, I hope it's enough for me to swing some more. ^_^

I've been gone for a while. Gotta say I've missed the dynamic flow of your words. Worth the read, as always. ^_^

Firehawk said...


Yeah,well, nothing we haven't all experienced before.


It's been a while. I was worried that you'd taken a permanent vacation from blogging. Good to see you back, and thanks for the kind words.

Frann said...

Teach me how to swing from the hip, Patrick! This last year, my arms have become weak and sore!

Have a good one!

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