Aran

Wherever you walk on this island

you strike stone, the erratics

and karsts of the storm beach

left here a hundred million years.

They have cleared what they could,

blocked them up into walls and built

a fortress over clints and grykes.

Seems all green grows thorny here

at edges and the edges’ edges.

That salt air tips the thistles

and the stones put down roots.

The whole world is a shrine,

I want to say, and marked

with stones—though it is not true.

Nor is it a grave. It may be

there is no whole world at all,

only an island in troubled seas,

or only what I know of it is hard

as stone, but soluble in water.

Dave Lucas is the author of Weather, which received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Case Western ­Reserve University.