Who would have guessed such thoughts live in you, stone,
or why you slept through the birth of stone on stone?
Why all those centuries with nothing in your heart
but sand like blood, and blood like stone?
When that hand divided light from less than light
what side did you find yourself standing on, dear stone?
Where did the leaf the flung dove found first grow,
but an ancient olive tree grappling ancient stone?
What were the first words ever spoken? Not
In the beginning, no; the first were surely In the stone…
How was Lot’s wife transformed, who loved her home
so much she hankered to return to stone?
Whose eyes are polished stones? Who lifted a stone
mirror to her face and named herself? You, stone.
About this poem
This poem was written during John Glenday’s residency at the New Scriptorium, Abroath Abbey in November 2023.