Each week Margaret Simon shares a photograph on her blog and invites people to respond with a short poem. (She took up the mantle for this weekly challenge from Laura Purdie Salas who originally called it, 15 Words or Less Poems.) Margaret’s version is called, This Photo Wants to be a Poem. (You can read her most recent post here. ) For our September Inkling challenge, Margaret asked us to chose any photo she’d shared and respond in poetry.
A few weeks ago Margaret highlighted this photo of a striped rock from the Salish Sea. The picture was taken by her sister-in-law, Julia, and shared on Instagram. (You can read responses to the photo here.)
I didn’t have time to respond in the moment, but later I stumbled upon Donna Smith’s response on her Facebook page. After her post, she exchanged a few comments with Janet Clare about collecting rocks– talking about gathering rocks, deciding whether to keep them or whether to “just release them all back into the wild.” That final comment sparked my response, which went a bit long.
The Weight of Stones
*inspired by a FB comment from Donna Smith
The stones gasp
for water long since evaporated
and never replenished.
When did the joy
of initial discovery
(The color! The shape! The lines!)
fade to indifference?
Caged in their glass vases
these forgotten memories
of far-off places
Their vitality fades.
Do they mourn the lost warmth of sun
the clench of cold
the gentle wash of rain?
Do they yearn to tidetumble?
To whisper with the waves?
Clearly it is past time
to release these unwilling captives
back into the wild.
©Molly Hogan, draft
To see how the other Inklings responded to the challenge, click on the links below:
This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Linda Baie at her blog, Teacher Dance.