Stone Etcher


Six decades of toil, 
born to mark stone; 
essentially born in a cradle 
of earth and crag, 

Engraver of the tombs, 
waking with the decayed rays; 
taking over father’s business 
after he passed, 
filling out the ancient death note. 

Working through the beam,
his tools are sundials,
growing chaotic and grizzled.
Heated haze helps forget a device’s given task.
Black stone keeps calling his name.

Luster gathering, equidistant 
from one horizon to the next. 
Stiffness glazes his brow to frustrate, 
following the brush of the tempest 
ripping his hair, 
and falling out. 

Rock cried and dried in the late afternoon. 
His breath gathers 
to full sips of bourbon; 
finely tuning his work 
whilst dropping his wrist: 
an “R” scrape, forming a scythe shape. 

Falling unconscious to his dropped memory. 
Liver failing to peckings from liquor. 

Clocked heavy and eyelids 
drawn down – spoiling his motions– 
he strikes his last strike. 
Greyed to the dawn, 
who engraves the tomb-etcher’s stone? 


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