Tim Kahl






I cannot remark on the colors of the dawn or why
it resorts to ventriloquism.  The day speaks truths as it
warms over.  I sit, sweat and watch the colors hatch
out of the morning, each in a stage of drying on
the litter of objects sprawled in the sun.  I pick up a
rock and let the sun talk through it.  The words wear
a stillness disguise.  But there are other ways to catch
a glimpse of the words flying off the tongue
of a rock.  Pretend the rock is not even there.
Observe the dust trailing off in the wind for
the direction the conversation has ventured.
A rock has the guile to go unnoticed, and
even if watched carefully, it still looks stupid.
But it is steady.  Steadiness is
the way it lives out its dreams,
and anything that dreams must be sentient.
They have sympathy for us humans,
so I used to feel I had to say nice things about
the rocks.  It was like they were primates.  I was
continually looking sideways at them hoping
for some insight into their nature.  I would often
think a rock does not have impulses,
but I was mistaken.  An avalanche is a slur
of guttural vowel sounds; a volcano, a shout at the moon.
If one drops a rock on the sidewalk, it utters
the code of its life in a flash of quick, short
syllables.  Still, the consensus is that rocks are thought
to be mute, and this is why for many years rocks
were seen as excellent pets.  They spoke very little,
and when they did speak, it was usually
the sun with its big brain talking through them.
The sun has its way with everything.
You cannot tell what it is thinking.  It can turn a
gray stone white.  The sun will make you forget
your name.  Then you will dream like a rock or
a tangled-up puppet and feel lucky the world happens
as quietly as it does.  The silence repeats itself.
The silence folds evenly over the morning. The silence
layers the colors at dawn over the hidden life of
everything, but sometimes one is able to tell if the rocks
have received their orders to march on steadfastly,
espousing the tranquil philosophy of the sun.

Copyright 2004 Tim Kahl.  All Rights Reserved.

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