Click here to read Stories from Stones published by Rebelle Society
Stories from Stones
© 2018 Meredith Heller
The river glowed today
her face freckled with sun.
She hummed and bubbled
with a new song.
She etched her name
in circles on the rocks.
She laid her bare belly across their backs
and they drank the sorrow from her bones.
What’s underneath all the sadness? She wonders.
What pulls everything into this dark eddy?
She touches the sadness with her finger
and peels it away
layer after layer
until she finds a young child
sitting alone on a rock
a full moon rising in her face
starfish growing in her hands
her heart, longing for love.
She teaches the child
how to sing to the music of the river
how to listen to the stories from the stones.
She shows her how to place her hand on her heart
and pledge her love to life.
The wind blows through the child’s hair
and each tendril turns into a striped snake
that sings in its own language
of yes and no.
The sky turns to smoke
and slips into the water like a fish.
It weaves a cord of copper rope.
The child catches it
and spins like a dervish.
The first star sparks the sky like flint.
She breathes its white fire into her body.
Bats swoop in jagged angles above her head.
The rocks lift their wizened faces to the sky
their eyes glinting with gold.
She eats her evening meal
with a spoon carved from oak
its dark tongue quenching her.
Two dragon eyes watch from behind
as the moon sleeps
curled on her side
her light spilling over.
A night bird calls her name
as she crawls into her feathered nest
the water full of jade.
Its after midnight
when they finally climb across the rock
into each other’s bodies.
Between them grows a creature with wings
that glow iridescent like an opal
in the moonlight.
The creature catches a falling star
on the tip of it’s tongue.
like a dark silk scarf
blowing in the breath
of the wind.
They make a nest
inside a granite cave
and she wraps her filigree fronds
around his trunk.
They sleep beneath the eyes of the stars
while the water creature
into their ears.
In her dreams, the stars kiss her face.
Each star gathers one of her stories
and burns through the sorrow of its soul
until each one turns its head
and sings a song of forgiveness.
Morning wakes them
by strumming a few chords of color across the sky.
Tall pines breathe above them.
The river roars with joy.
She watches her friend slink up the canyon
weaving a trail of mystery
leaving her in the bright hands of morning.
She swims in the river.
The sun drinks water droplets from her skin
like a child licking an ice cream cone.
She melts into the granite boulder
that holds her against its body
like a lover.
Just me and the river, she thinks,
the air humming with dragonflies
the only words left in her mouth
are: Thank You.
All night and all morning
the river and I flow downstream
sharing love songs.
Under the water the stones gather
in patterns of sacred geometry
pushed and pulled
by the magnetics of their minerals
aligning along invisible threads
that hum with life.
Yuba River, your veins filled with gold
you lick me with her mossy tongue
your own skin rippling
as I lose my edges
dissolve into the sun
and come out the other side
shining and new.