Monday, January 2, 2012


In this dream I had
one hundred thousand
dollars in cash, all
in these flimsy, white
paper notes. They kept
flying from my grasp
in the wind; I tried
hard to control them.
Then I found this green
plastic bag and used it
to stuff them inside,
and stuck the whole
package down inside
the front of my pants.

Actually this is cheating a bit. It's not properly a small stone. It's a small poem. Or not even. Once you call something a "poem," there's a risk of wanting it to be "literature" instead of "writing." My preference is for "writing." To write a small stone you have first to stop and pay attention, take note of what's happening in the here and now, and write down the words that result from that act of consciousness. A dream, of course, is a gift from the unconscious mind, and hardly qualifies as a purposeful act of consciousness. In this sense, a small stone would look more like this:

Thick, offshore
morning mist. George
on a leash. My footsteps
ring hollow on the pavement.
Far off, the dull crash
of waves on the shore;
closer in, a voice, human.
I wear my warm bear shirt
against the chill. Homeward
bound, George stops, first
for a pee, then a crap. It's
nearly breakfast time.

Consider this another invitation to find your own small stone, feel its weight in your hand, and skip it off into the flow of the whole river of stones that is, I hope, gathering momentum in the world.

As the Beatles sang, memorably, long ago: we all want to change the world. If enough of us would pause for long enough in the rush of our lives to simply pay attention, even for a moment, we could become the wellspring for a small stream, then a river, then an ocean of consciousness and compassion. But then, of course, you may say I'm a dreamer. Which is where I started out!

No comments: