Ode to Little Rock

little rock, ark
to a pair of rocks,
the testicle that always drops
lower than the other

half a stone, still
stone, still the rock
whence I was hewn
as much as from our father

Petros, to you, sire
of Petra’s son, my ark
and gyre above it borne
on three wings, or maybe one,

I come, once Simon, too
much myself (a paradox
as chopped as Braque’s), your
still life, stillborn brother.


Inspired by Big Tent Poetry’s prompt about heroes, and in response to Via Negativa’s question, “Is half a stone still a whole stone?” Petros and petra are the two Greek words for rock that Jesus employs in renaming Simon Peter (Matthew 16:18).  Petros can mean a stone broken from a larger one, while petra can suggest the larger stone from which smaller stones are broken.

Posted July 30, 2010.

Categorized as Versicle

By Peter

After stints as a trial lawyer and a church worker, Peter Stephens has settled in as a Virginia high school English teacher. Peter has read several books and poems. He wrote none of the posts below filed under "Passages." Click the link at the end of each post to see it in the context of the author's original post.