Just a Rock [poetry friday]

Happy Poetry Friday!

Well, it’s my 27th wedding anniversary, and I feel like I should be posting something more romantic. But here I am, with a villanelle about rocks, because the first Poetry Friday of each month is my Poetry Seven post. But Randy is my rock, and we’ve been through our share of T. Rexes and volcanoes, and I think our marriage is the? art and diamonds we’ve created of them. OK, that’s not geologically correct, but you know what I mean:>) Happy Anniversary, Randy. I love you!

Now. Remember how I mentioned last month that the Poetry Seven (aka Poetry Princesses) were going to write poems of a certain form each month and share them? Last month, it was triolets. Well, this month, it’s villanelles, and our theme was “hidden things.”

Here’s mine:

Just a Rock

To hear a story, just pick up a rock–
the tale it whispers in your ear delights.
Each stone’s a box of history. To unlock

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Clovis_Point.jpg
Photo: Locutus Borg

the seabed’s secrets, grab a piece of chalk.
Make art from shells of long-dead trilobites.
To hear a story, hold basaltic rock

from ancient times–volcano’s liquid shock
of molten lava. Watch the earth ignite!
Which box of history does this stone unlock?

A pebble crushed by pounding T. Rex walk?
Or diamond made by mountain pressing tight?
To hear a story, find a jagged rock,

perhaps an arrowhead. Rewind the clock
to Ice Age times, when spears killed mammoths’ might.
Each stoney box of history can unlock

our past. Just lean in close, for rocks can talk.
And over time, our planet’s learned to write.
To hear a story, pick up any rock.
Each stone’s a box of history to unlock.

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

 

And here are links to the Poetry Seven’s villanelles (with my favorite teaser line from each!):

[Addendum: Complete links to come as everyone posts their triolets!]

Liz Garton Scanlon (But really these are ancient myths we’ve reared)

Tanita S. Davis? (Defies the dark, its thousand points agleam)

Kelly Fineman (As winter gathers strength, it gathers light.)

Sara Lewis Holmes (I spiral/ on the surface of the Inter-bog, layered rich as peat)

Andromeda Jazmon (For every blooming there’s a cost.)

Tricia Stohr-Hunt? (Crack plaster, pull timbers, find frescos below)

 

And don’t forget to visit Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass for the Poetry Roundup today. Enjoy!

 

P.S. If you’re interested in our previous collaborations:

Jan 2015: Triolets on beginnings (And I posted an extra one here.)

Pre-2015: Villanelles, a crown sonnet, rondeau redoubles, and pantoums

Save

80 Responses

  1. Oh, my, a villanelle about a rock on your anniversary! You amaze me again and again. This poem has so many twists in it, clever line direction (I’m sure there is some fancy poetic term for this.)

    1. Thank you, Margaret–I appreciate that. The Poetry 7 push me. I’m a rule-follower by nature, but they help me loosen up a bit, vary the repeated lines, etc. It makes me learn more as I write. Several of the 7 are very good at varying their repeated lines and using enjambed lines (lines that don’t complete the thought, which then runs on to the next line) to really change meaning. I didn’t accomplish that, but I did try to mix it up a tiny bit!

  2. Oh, my, a villanelle about a rock on your anniversary! You amaze me again and again. This poem has so many twists in it, clever line direction (I’m sure there is some fancy poetic term for this.)

    1. Thank you, Margaret–I appreciate that. The Poetry 7 push me. I’m a rule-follower by nature, but they help me loosen up a bit, vary the repeated lines, etc. It makes me learn more as I write. Several of the 7 are very good at varying their repeated lines and using enjambed lines (lines that don’t complete the thought, which then runs on to the next line) to really change meaning. I didn’t accomplish that, but I did try to mix it up a tiny bit!

  3. I’m so very thrilled with this poem. I hope you don’t mind my using it in a few weeks when I begin my earth science sessions.

    I love the diamond line, but my favorite(s) are: “Just lean in close, for rocks can talk./And over time, our planet?s learned to write.”

    I’m SO glad we are doing this together!

    1. Me too, Tricia! So fun to challenge ourselves:>) And I’m honored for you to use this in your earth sciences unit. With A ROCK CAN BE… coming out, I have rocks on the brain right now.

  4. I’m so very thrilled with this poem. I hope you don’t mind my using it in a few weeks when I begin my earth science sessions.

    I love the diamond line, but my favorite(s) are: “Just lean in close, for rocks can talk./And over time, our planet?s learned to write.”

    I’m SO glad we are doing this together!

    1. Me too, Tricia! So fun to challenge ourselves:>) And I’m honored for you to use this in your earth sciences unit. With A ROCK CAN BE… coming out, I have rocks on the brain right now.

  5. Happy Anniversary Hon! I love that you wrote about the long history and the hidden story of rocks on your anniversary. Perfectly fitting! And you have totally rocked this form girl!

    1. Thanks, Andi! And for the anniversary wishes. I’m SO glad you posted yours, too. I am behind and under the weather, but will be visiting everyone’s blogs to read anew:>(

  6. Happy Anniversary Hon! I love that you wrote about the long history and the hidden story of rocks on your anniversary. Perfectly fitting! And you have totally rocked this form girl!

    1. Thanks, Andi! And for the anniversary wishes. I’m SO glad you posted yours, too. I am behind and under the weather, but will be visiting everyone’s blogs to read anew:>(

    1. Aw, thanks, Amy. Of course, you, being married to a science teacher, would totally get how romantic rocks really are:>)

    1. Aw, thanks, Amy. Of course, you, being married to a science teacher, would totally get how romantic rocks really are:>)

  7. A rock can be… put on a ring? For all we know, the diamonds the mountain hugged tight might have stories that include mammoths and mastodons, too. This poem skips like a stone on a perfect lake — it just dances, and I love it. It’s a good first gift to yourself to start off a day of gifts. Happy anniversary!

    1. Thanks, Tanita! (I’m not a diamond ring fan, so I actually tried to get that out of the poem, but nothing else easily took its place. Uncooperative words!) I do love the idea that rocks cycle through endlessly, just like our water does. The journeys rocks make and the stories they could tell…

  8. A rock can be… put on a ring? For all we know, the diamonds the mountain hugged tight might have stories that include mammoths and mastodons, too. This poem skips like a stone on a perfect lake — it just dances, and I love it. It’s a good first gift to yourself to start off a day of gifts. Happy anniversary!

    1. Thanks, Tanita! (I’m not a diamond ring fan, so I actually tried to get that out of the poem, but nothing else easily took its place. Uncooperative words!) I do love the idea that rocks cycle through endlessly, just like our water does. The journeys rocks make and the stories they could tell…

  9. I like Tanita’s take on rocks on rings! But I also love that Randy is your rock, and that you are true to your self on your anniversary— that’s the bedrock (ha!) of any good relationship, right?

    As for your poem itself, I adore thinking of our planet writing to us via rocks. I also love the way the ending lines are filled with all those rocky “k” sounds—it really adds a pleasing rumble to the climax of the poem, almost like a landslide.

    1. Thank you, Sara. I’ve been thinking about and researching geology-related topics lately (with A ROCK CAN BE… coming out Mar 1 and another geology topic proposal in progress). It was fun to indulge myself by having fun with this topic NOT encumbered by any particular project’s demands. Thanks for the specific feedback, too. Going to read through it again with your words in mind:>)

  10. I like Tanita’s take on rocks on rings! But I also love that Randy is your rock, and that you are true to your self on your anniversary— that’s the bedrock (ha!) of any good relationship, right?

    As for your poem itself, I adore thinking of our planet writing to us via rocks. I also love the way the ending lines are filled with all those rocky “k” sounds—it really adds a pleasing rumble to the climax of the poem, almost like a landslide.

    1. Thank you, Sara. I’ve been thinking about and researching geology-related topics lately (with A ROCK CAN BE… coming out Mar 1 and another geology topic proposal in progress). It was fun to indulge myself by having fun with this topic NOT encumbered by any particular project’s demands. Thanks for the specific feedback, too. Going to read through it again with your words in mind:>)

  11. Well, I think your rock comments are apt and romantic, even if your villanelle mostly isn’t. But it IS a thing of beauty!

  12. Well, I think your rock comments are apt and romantic, even if your villanelle mostly isn’t. But it IS a thing of beauty!

  13. I think your opening remarks about rocks are lovely and are romantic and wonderful (and apt). I also think your villanelle is wonderful, although (as you said) not exactly romantic.

    1. Thanks, Kelly. I already had the first draft, I think, when I realized we’d be posting on my anniversary. Oh well. I don’t think I could’ve written a love villanelle for public sharing!

  14. I think your opening remarks about rocks are lovely and are romantic and wonderful (and apt). I also think your villanelle is wonderful, although (as you said) not exactly romantic.

    1. Thanks, Kelly. I already had the first draft, I think, when I realized we’d be posting on my anniversary. Oh well. I don’t think I could’ve written a love villanelle for public sharing!

  15. OK, first — “Randy is my rock”????? You made me cry!!!
    Second, I LOVE that you include audio.
    And third, the idea of rocks talking to us, I just love that.
    It speaks so actively to the mystery of the great wide world.…
    AWESOME job, you.…

    1. Thanks, Liz–he really is. I hate hearing myself read, but I love hearing other people read their work. So, I try to at least record my Poetry Friday poems. THank you on all counts…

  16. OK, first — “Randy is my rock”????? You made me cry!!!
    Second, I LOVE that you include audio.
    And third, the idea of rocks talking to us, I just love that.
    It speaks so actively to the mystery of the great wide world.…
    AWESOME job, you.…

    1. Thanks, Liz–he really is. I hate hearing myself read, but I love hearing other people read their work. So, I try to at least record my Poetry Friday poems. THank you on all counts…

  17. Laura this is a relay beautiful tribute to your husband I love so many part of this poem love that rocks are lessoning and the way they help us Happy Adversary for both of you

  18. Laura this is a relay beautiful tribute to your husband I love so many part of this poem love that rocks are lessoning and the way they help us Happy Adversary for both of you

  19. Considering your wonderful coming book, I love that you’ve tied your ‘rock’ story with you and your husband’s anniversary, & that he is your “rock”. No finer gift could be had. Happy Anniversary!

  20. Considering your wonderful coming book, I love that you’ve tied your ‘rock’ story with you and your husband’s anniversary, & that he is your “rock”. No finer gift could be had. Happy Anniversary!

  21. I love the idea of unlocking a rock and that Earth has learned to write. I totally get the rock/marriage connection. Last Valentine’s Day I wrote a rock sonnet for my husband. He isn’t a science teacher but he still took it well. Happy Anniversary! Hope you’re feeling better.

    1. Aw, I’m glad I’m not the only one making that connection:>) Love “he still took it well.” I’m feeling lousy, but thank you! Thanks for hosting.

  22. I love the idea of unlocking a rock and that Earth has learned to write. I totally get the rock/marriage connection. Last Valentine’s Day I wrote a rock sonnet for my husband. He isn’t a science teacher but he still took it well. Happy Anniversary! Hope you’re feeling better.

    1. Aw, I’m glad I’m not the only one making that connection:>) Love “he still took it well.” I’m feeling lousy, but thank you! Thanks for hosting.

  23. Loved the way you found a way to tie the poem, its subject, and your anniversary together, Laura. I hope you get to enjoy a lovely celebration!

  24. Loved the way you found a way to tie the poem, its subject, and your anniversary together, Laura. I hope you get to enjoy a lovely celebration!

  25. Happy Anniversary, Laura! Rocks whispering their stories… what an amazing image! Like others, I also appreciate how you tied this poem to your own experience of love and marriage. I laughed out loud, though, when I read Jessica’s comment. I know it must have been one of those auto-correct mishaps, but “Happy Adversary”… let’s hope not!!!

  26. Happy Anniversary, Laura! Rocks whispering their stories… what an amazing image! Like others, I also appreciate how you tied this poem to your own experience of love and marriage. I laughed out loud, though, when I read Jessica’s comment. I know it must have been one of those auto-correct mishaps, but “Happy Adversary”… let’s hope not!!!

  27. We have rafted down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and deep in the canyon, the oldest Vishnu schist formations sometimes resemble Easter Island-like statues.They immediately came to mind as I read your lines “to hear a story, hold basaltic rock/from ancient times.” I can easily imagine the story they would tell. Thank you for sharing this amazing villanelle, and happy anniversary to you and your husband!

    1. Thank you, Catherine. What a cool story! I am going to Ireland soon, and I’m really going to be paying attention to rocks! I mean, I always do, but I have become a real rockhead lately:>)

  28. We have rafted down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and deep in the canyon, the oldest Vishnu schist formations sometimes resemble Easter Island-like statues.They immediately came to mind as I read your lines “to hear a story, hold basaltic rock/from ancient times.” I can easily imagine the story they would tell. Thank you for sharing this amazing villanelle, and happy anniversary to you and your husband!

    1. Thank you, Catherine. What a cool story! I am going to Ireland soon, and I’m really going to be paying attention to rocks! I mean, I always do, but I have become a real rockhead lately:>)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,492 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
Tags
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can Be...art projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."