Sandstone Woman

Great sandstone woman,

lying at the entrance to the pass,

guarding the rushing waters below.


Only the women see your soft subtle shape.


Sunbathing for centuries;

hearing excited cries of gulls, fishing in the whirlpools;

listening to singing orcas, who pass close by;

feeling the footsteps of otters playing

or of humans taking their quick glances

at the “scenery”.

Conversing with the seals who stare,

then haul up beside you,

when quiet times descend.

Among the oaks and arbutus, you hear

woodpeckers, flickers, thrushes chipping and trilling.

In your upward stare, when the sun is rising in the sky,

eagles circle and soar in their gyres.

Rock goddess,

lying on the ocean’s shore

for thousands of years,

I will move you.

I will lay mosses on you,

put a wig of kelp on your head,

heap berries on your chest and belly.

Tickled, tantalized,

You will roar

a telltale giggle,

heraldic signal,

revealing Your long-forgotten voice.

Shaking off my gifts,

You will stand at the edge of the sea,

sandstone body, awakened.

No longer dazed,

You will stride, andante maestoso,

along the shore.


Part the air,

with the swing

of Your outstretched arms.


Birds of the shore will vie

to join Your progress.


Listeners will wonder

at the low thunder of Your footsteps

and, in awe,

bow before You,

guardian of the island’s threshold.