Thursday, May 1, 2008



1. [n.] - (geology) a piece of rock of different origin from the igneous rock in which it is embedded.

Fear is a boulder –
granite, marble, quartz –

speckled with fool’s gold,
buried beneath an old mountain,

caressed by a stream’s cold fingers.
Fear smells like wet slate,

bare and silky with it’s own darkness.
Fear buries us beneath its weight,

sings to us in a gravelly, crushed
voice. Fear decorates itself

with the fossils and impressions
of prehistoric desires caught

in epic accident. Fear hunches,
the meek stone in a garden,

one gray side overgrown with lacy
green moss, planet to a colony

of lice. Fear breaks like chert,
sprouts a sharp and spiny face -

grinds itself into the cavity
of your wound like a kiss.

Today I had my students do abstract-to-concrete freewrites. We looked first at Michelle Shocked's lyrics to "If Love Was a Train" and then Lola Haskins' "Love" as great examples of taking an impossibly abstract concept and making it visual, tactile. They brainstormed a bunch of abstract words on the white board: love, hate, forgiveness, betrayal, sadness, happiness, fear, joy, and so on. Then I added a list of items opposite these words: rock, shirt, table, tree, wheel, hat, knife. The free write assignment was to pair up an abstract and an object using the prompt: If ____ were a ____ ... This poem came out of my free write for that exercise. I found a child's website that gave me some of the names/types of rocks.

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