a path through bodies (ismaelson) wrote in poetryislove,
a path through bodies
ismaelson
poetryislove

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In Praise of Stones by Gabriela Mistral

Kneeling stones, stones falling in cavalcades, and those never wanting to fall, like a heart become too weary.

Stones resting on their shoulders like dead warriors -- their wounds are sealed with pure silence, not with bandages.

Stones hold scattered gestures like lost children: an eyebrow on the sierra, an ankle in a stone bench.

Stones remember a unified face and want to piece it back together, gesture by gesture, someday.

Stones heavy with sleep, rich with dreams, like a peppercorn guarding pure essence, languid and drowsy, like a tree of conjunctures, stone savagely clutches its treasure of absolute dreams.

Kneeling stones, commingled stones, stones falling in cavalcades, and those not wanting to fall, like a heart become too weary.

The headstone destined for Jacob's neck, the stone of mourning is like a number -- without a blush and without dew -- it is just like a number.

Round stone is simply a great eyelid, with eyelashes, like Methuselah's. The hooked summit of the mystical Andes, that flame that doesn't dance, halted abruptly like Lot's wife Sarah. It did not want to answer me when I was a child, and it still does not answer me.

Stones flashing with gold or silver, suddenly pierced by copper, are startled by the intrusion. Stones are irritated by metallic almonds, as though they were invisible darts.

Kneeling stones, commingled stones, stones running in phalanxes or throngs, without arriving anywhere.

Ancient river stones from slippery shores are like the drowned -- they hold the same withered vegetation that sticks fast to the hair of the drowned. But tender stones exist; they can touch someone who has been flayed and not hurt him. They pass over his body with a tongue like this own mother's, and they don't grow tired.

Young river stones are pebbles painted like fruit. Yes, they can sing! Once, when I was also five years old, I placed them under my pillow; they made a commotion like a mountain of tots being smothered, or perhaps they took turns singing a round at the nucleus of my dream. They were its masters: tender-aged pebbles came to my sheets and played with me.

Some stones do not want to become tombstones or fountains; they shun a foreign touch and refuse the intrusive inscription in order to make their own gestures, unique language, rise someday.

Mute stones, their hearts are bestowed with a passion that could be given away. In order not to disturb the slumber of their vertiginous almond -- only for that reason, they remain still.


[from Sentence: a journal of prose poetics (No. 2, 2004), translated by Maria Giachetti]
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