“I rested near large, lichen-covered stone, place to rest my bones…”

Bitter Fundy Bay cold-persisting spring,
Wind-descending clouds, arduous hiking
Trails, near Bishop and Ashburton Head,
Cliff-side ups and downs. Moments water
Drinking, I rested at large, lichen-covered
Stone, place to rest my bones, few leaf-
Crunching steps off winding paths. Quiet
Solitude of spruce trees, grumblings heard,
Thinking my stomach protesting gulping
Water. Yet, rumblings grew deeper, within
Rocky ground, stone awakening, my warm,
Leaning presence, talking to myself.

Before I could ask, “Who?” or “What?” stone
Shifting startled me to my feet, earth-age
Gravely voice, “I am here,” long, deliberate
Pauses between each word, accelerated from
Frozen depths of geologic time. “I remember,”
Stone stated, patch of lichens time-honoured
Badge, fissures imparted by freezing, thawing
Epochs, might of expanding ice. “When?” he
Asked, no definite answer I could provide,
“Since last ice age, emergence of true Stone
Age, retreating glacier rumbled you into this
Place, where you have slept hence.”

Grumbling sounds we communicated, curious
How I awakened him, he oft roused hundred
Years or so, how island transformed from
Ice-scarred rock, first layers of soil-sediment,
Vegetation, thick forests taking root, animals,
Advent of maritime sea-going tribes, hollowed
Logs or skin boats braving Fundy gales, white-
Cresting waves. This encounter different, he
Was surrounded by solitude and trees, hikers
Affording him passing glance, except for me,
I needed water, rest, pack-fractured cookies,
Photos, hands caressing massive brow.

“Turn towards Whistle Road or continue to distant Whale Cove…”

Grumblings fell into silence, decades of deep
Sleep, grass growing upon his dirty scalp. My
Life reduced to sinewed minutes, I hiked on
Familiar trails, weathered wooden signs, turn
Towards Whistle Road or continue to distant
Whale Cove, clifftop vistas of Fundy Bay,
Peregrine falcon chastising me for trespassing
Into her chick-feeding domain. During solo
Hiking week, I passed by stolid stone once
More, no earth-deep grumbling, he settled
Into depth of island earth, concealed by May-
Budding overgrowth, ever-marching time.

One of many large lichen-covered stones seen whilst solo hiking at
Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada. Thanks for reading.

Social profiles