Paleolithic

For Yogi, and my many other brothers, in and out of arms, in and out of harm’s way:

We started sharp and young, so strong
That brittle hardly mattered
We knew ideas were right or wrong
That only weak stones shattered

Just off our banks, history flowed
Changed us without our knowing
We thought we’d make a mighty splash
The river kept on flowing

Stones rolled in time, stones rolled in time
Rolled toward an endless sea
Stones rolled in time, an endless mine
Of jewels and junk like we

A gem requires cutting, and
Huge pressure, or it’s coal
Which burns to ash, and makes no splash
Enough to mark a soul

Mayhem is the fate of pride
Our edges rounded over
Crisp clavicles of youth smoothed by
The power of sloping shoulders

Stones rolled in time, stones rolled in time
Rolled toward an endless sea
Stones rolled in time, an endless mine
Of jewels and junk like we

Not honed to murder, cut to blocks
A fortress, not a spear
There comes a day when grown men say
I’ll make my family here

A million shards upstream await
Their chance to clash and crack
It’s not their place or time to know
There is no swimming back

Stones rolled in time, stones rolled in time
Rolled toward an endless sea
Stones rolled in time, an endless mine
Of jewels and junk like we

We have this chance to catch them, friend
And tell what is to be:
However big a splash we make
We’re headed for the sea

The day we melt to faceless mud
From pebbles near the coast
The river won’t have slowed at all
Our dust the breath of ghosts

Stones rolled in time, stones rolled in time
Rolled toward an endless sea
Stones plucked like grapes, and pressed like wine
Poured out for greater beings

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Comments

  1. Lorri Ferguson says

    I like it, Jack . Did you write it.

  2. Howard Crangle says

    This poetry ranks with some of best I’ve read. Is there no end to your talent? Have you written other poetry? Keep rolling.

  3. Jackie Matlock says

    I am glad I signed on to receive your publications. This is heart felt and gets your message across clearly – even to a woman who never did battle but has lived 8 decades, craves a world smart enough to live in peace and share the plenty from all of us. I am very please at the glimpses from you and Shasta and those you love. Many blessings are wished for you both and thank you for sharing your deep feelings.

  4. Stone Bear says

    That’s some of your best. Such often comes from loss…

  5. Larry Parrish says

    Jack. It was good to see your post. I have missed your wisdom and your words. Please keep writing and posting what you write.

    –Larry, “Pappy” “Padre”
    -Viet Nam combat vet, Cold Warrior Chaplain, War on Terror Guardsman, Now Retired from everything but Life. I still ride . . . a little.

    • I’ve been away from the tablet long enough. Time to pick up my engraving chisels, and chip away once more.

      Somewhere under there is a piece of meaning, I hope.

  6. Keith Strickland says

    Thank you Jack. This poem puts me in mind of Kipling…

  7. Carl Lincoln says

    I think I love you, man. For quite a while now, but with all due respect,stick to prose. Cheers!

  8. Always good the see your thoughts show up in my mail. Thank you.

  9. Michael Pierce says

    Well wrote. As usual. Thank you for being.

  10. Walter Purdy says

    A real gem that deserves wider distribution. Glad to see you’re back up and running.

  11. Pure soul food. Thanks, I was hungry and,as always, eagerly awaiting the next morsel…

  12. John Stockman says

    This why I look forward to your posts. Incredible insight, and an equally incredible talent to put thoughts and life into words. Nothing else like it, my life is better because of it. I sincerely mean that, thank you. I deal with many continuing physical challenges, but my times and miles on my motorcycles were the highlights and peak triumphs of my life, not taken for granted. I remember with clarity each time I had to pull over because I was overwhelmed with emotion as tears filled my eyes, realizing how amazing it was that I was actually out there doing that. How all those experiences being on a motorcycle, and the struggles it took to get there, truly transformed my entire life in a way that I cannot put into words.

  13. Sean Brendan-Brown says

    Great new work, Jack, and the beard looks great, too!

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