Bones and Stones

by Elias Blum

There are people who know all about bones
How to separate the ham from the haunch
And cook the marrow to perfection;
How to set a broken limb
Or carve a comb from antler;
How to wrap mortal bones
In earthbound wooden boxes;
How to slice them with a cleaver
Or to tickle them gently with trowels
Until they reveal the ways lost civilisations.
And there are people who know all about stones
How they were formed in the bowels of the earth
How to hew them by the ton or date them in laboratories;
How to choose them for dry walling, and place them just so;
How to shape them into vessels, swans or grave Madonnas
That the people who know about bones
Will one day tickle with trowels
To reveal the ways of our lost civilization.