“The stone my brother saw give birth.”
[a quote from Barton Smock]

The moment was dry.
Cracked. Pebbled collapse.
He cheered when it was over
and the stones stopped stoning,
owning to the silence
we humans deserve.


  1. Rogan

    love the slant rhyme from the last line back to the title — all the sonic layering.

  2. Todd Clay Stuart

    Benjamin, I love the stones stopped stoning, the internal rhyme throughout and that last line is a gut punch!

  3. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Benjamin, the sonics are superb! The way this sound aloud- the aural aspect. Tone. Brills. Chills.

  4. Len Kuntz

    Hi Benjamin.

    This was like a haiku stoked with fuel. The meter and timber make it a chamber of gunpowder., lit and ready to explode. Terrific.

  5. Jonathan Cardew

    Oh there’s so many O’s in this: moments, over, stones, stopped, stoning, owning! As others have mentioned, there is an alchemy of assonance in this piece; it is a pleasure to read out loud. I’m also gobsmacked by “pebbled collapse”–the juxtaposition of pebble (nice smooth thing) and collapse (not a nice smooth thing) is the standout line for me.

    Nothing to change here (for me), but I wonder if you would try (or have ever tried) a list of words as a poem. Using assonance, perhaps?



  6. John Steines

    Mercy. So brief, yet so packed. Seeing the other comments, I went back and read it aloud, and fell deeply in love with the sonority, and JC’s word – ‘assonance’, one I didn’t know, yet one so instructive to how text is only a component in support of how we hear language. Good lesson here for me. Cheers. Such a beautiful exercise of control. j

  7. Wendy Oleson

    This is a diamond.
    I want to quote the whole thing back to you. What a quote for a title, too, and the way it all comes together. The cheer. The “Pebbled collapse.” I love that, and of course “the stones stopped stoning.” The moment would have been dry–that feels so right, like it HAD to have been dry! Love.

  8. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    Wow, Benjamin! Spare and powerful. The last line, well, haven’t we humans earned that one! This raises the hair on the back of my neck as Emily D said true poems must.

  9. Wilson Koewing


    That is perhaps the oddest quote I’ve ever read. lol. The way this reads and sounds. Very beautiful. And a haunting ending that I liked quite a bit.


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