And stones move silently across the world


And stones move silently across the world

And stones move silently across the world

‘And if a stone could speak, poetry would be its words.’ — Galway Kinnell

Why are stones so special to us? Why do they fascinate us?

We go to a beach and pick up a stone. We may keep that stone for years.

Blood diamonds fuel bloody conflicts in Africa.

Paulo Coelho touches upon blood diamonds in his novel The Winner Stands Alone.

Michelangelo breathed life into stone.

Blue stones were carried from Wales, erected on Salisbury Plain to form Stonehenge, an ancient astrological clock.

Stones were dragged across the desert, carved into blocks to form the pyramids.

Shells drop to the ocean floor, get compressed, millions of years later appear as limestone mountain ranges.

In Castleton, water trickles down from the moors above. On its way dissolves the limestone rock as it seeps through the cracks. In the caves and caverns as the water drips, drips, drips, it leaves behind a fairy grotto of unimaginable shapes.

Carved out of limestone, sitting atop a limestone escarpment, Lincoln Cathedral glows in the evening sun.

 I have pieces of amethyst from mine tailings in Cornwall. Fool’s gold from I know not where. Fossils embedded in stone found at the foot of cliffs on the Dorset coast.

I have pieces of volcanic rock, picked up from a beach, spewed out not so long ago by El Teide.

In The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Andalusian shepherd Santiago is given two stones by a wise man he meets. If he is unsure, they help him make a decision.

I have two spherical Chinese ‘stones’. One is the moon, the other the sun. Quite what to do with them other than rotate around my fingers I do not know.

We find huge slabs of stone dotted around the landscape. Erratics deposited far from home by retreating glaciers.

A block of limestone has travelled from England to somewhere outside Sydney in Australia. It was a dream. The third such stone to be so transported. Four more stones to be transported who knows where.

Poet Alyson Hallett has established The Stone Library, where poetry and stones come together.

If a stone could speak then poetry would be its language.


6 Responses to “And stones move silently across the world”

  1. Dances With Crayons Says:

    I share your interest Keith! Of course there is ancient history in stone as well as chemistry of the element(s) each stone contains (like people). Working with stone requires patience; helped me understand our own nature, much better. Thinking of ‘star dust’, and music of Neil Diamond, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

    Thank you Keith : )

  2. alyson hallett Says:

    Dear Keith,

    I love what you have done here with the image of the first migrating stone and then your reflections on migrating stones – really great to see that the migrations are beginning to spread and make their own way. I’ve just received funding to make the fourth stone but as yet don’t know where I’ll be taking it – but will keep you posted.


  3. keithpp Says:

    I have an idea for the fourth stone. Or at least I did have. I will have to think about it.

  4. danceswithcrayons Says:

    Keith…photographed these stones (#1,2, and 3 are actually pottery fragments from Zim ruin area, and they appear to be similar to pottery from Roman Egypt!!) a while ago. They are incredibly beautiful (to me). Basket was weaved by the women of Matopos, from the local grasses. Stone beside pottery fragment #3 is a piece of rose quartz that I found not far from Stirling Castle. When I reached the castle itself, it was surrounded by roses in full bloom! Although the photo does not really capture it very well (lack of skill on my part), it is really pretty!


    Hope you like the picture. I know that you love stones too : )

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