Stone’s Thrown

The volcano is before or after, though
what you want people to see is that
mountains are gradual, rise slowly,
like bread, or mothers, or the sinking
sense that you did it all wrong. A quick
projectile, though, and careening past
steep slopes with no time to spare
for rivers, or rounding, or the comfort
of oceans. You were born in fire
and when you landed the forest caught
on fire, and only when it burned
to the ground and was covered in ash
did you take the slow route,
the route your parents did not let you
take, the buried path, the metamorphosis,
and then the shattered crystal in the
middle, jagged, a little hollow, cracked
open like an egg, but instead of firing
out of the womb, a price in your head
even before you exploded, taking out
the old hermit defiant on the slope,
the geologist who studied you best,
the vacationers in the camper under
you grave, you’re thankful for ocean floors
and someday being lonely there, away
from plate boundaries, so that when you do swell it’s part of something new, something gradual, mountain building
the way you hope you can tower
not at all like your parents.

#NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 23

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), his (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).