The Silent Skipping Stone

march 2008 soundedge

I don’t write many of these things called “poems.”  In part inspired by the loss of Mary Oliver yesterday, I re-post this piece from a few years ago.

The Silent Skipping-Stone

We are
sauntering upon a soggy stone
an infinitesimal rock spinning through space
As if. . .someone threw us, skipping across
the dark ocean of the milky galaxy

It makes sense—
We so desperately long for, search for, assurance, to be comforted,
to be told we are important—to someone
that we are thought of, cared for
that we are watched over and protected
until welcomed “home”—somewhere (where the skipping stops and sinks).

Our spinning, skipping stone
is ours alone
alone together
swirling on our only home—
the only one we think we know.


As if. . .someone dropped a fecund seed
on a massive marble of muck
and forests and meadows and plains sprouted with virescence.


As if. . .someone sparked a cell to life—what’s that?—and it
evolved into organisms pregnant with animals including us.


As if. . .WHY do we do this to ourselves!
WHY do we speculate and postulate and gravitate to
As if’s?

Don’t our eyes tell us, our senses sensitize us, to common sense?
Why skip our reason?

We wonder, we imagine, we dream, we hope.

And after thousands of years
distracted by our wandering imagination,
the Rock still spins.

We travel without going anywhere (at least anywhere that matters to us—we don’t perceive it anyway; we can’t conceive of it anyway!).

We’re going nowhere. . .but 600 million miles—
year after year after century after century. . . lifetimes of lifetimes.

Skipping. Sauntering.

A long long way. Standing still at 67,000 miles per hour.

Do you matter?

Do we matter?

What does it matter?

We’re skipping, sauntering through space, on

Our stone.

Chris Highland
April 2017

Categories: poetry, ReligionTags: , , , ,

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