Beneath this soil

A quadrille for the dverse prompt, ‘rock’.


Beneath this soil,

the tangled roots of trees,

long dead or still to grow,

push down deep.

Through the split and broken rock,

fox holes, burrows multitudinous,

we delve, and at the end,

where darkness grows light again,

we reach the stones of home.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

58 thoughts on “Beneath this soil”

    1. Thank you, Frank. Most things in the universe seem to know what they need, and they just do it. We build countless obstacle, destroy dreams, make life miserable for others. I wonder why?

      1. Often, because we are unwilling to embrace our pain, welcome it, and then let it go. Thus, we do not forgive; we seek vengeance, instead—and become perpetrators of harm to others. Thankfully, we have a choice.

      2. At an individual level, but individual choices are so remote now from the collective decision, ie the decision of leaders in hock to their own self-preservation, that it seems not to count for much.

      3. Except that all of our individual choices are the collective. Our leaders do not operate in a vaccuum; they operate in a culture. And when a culture becomes an individualist mob, that culture produces self-preserving leaders.

      4. I’d like to believe that we as ordinary citizens influence the way we are governed, but all I see is a gulf between those who are ‘born to govern’, have been to the right schools, come from the right families, have money and influence, and the ordinary people who live in a different world. The two don’t meet. Not yet. I hope things will change.

  1. Agree with the other comments – the last couplet is a beauty.
    It’s (almost) in the 8/6 rhythm of hymns and church poetry – and the internal rhyme in – ‘the stones of home’ is terrific.

  2. Reading this it reminds me of childbirth. You know Tree of life, i don’t know why. The womb ever-growing then seeing the light. It’s philosophical.

      1. The Earth in itself can be seen as a womb giving life to the creatures.. It’s strange how all attributes of care are painted as maternal attributes.

      2. I suppose if ancient man, who started all this gender role stuff in the first place, had taken the care function away from women as well, there wouldn’t have been much point in women at all, would there?

      3. If Gordon Childe is to believed than in hunting and nomadic times the women exceeded men also the whole cultivation and civilization was a product of genius by women alone. It’s plausible as early attempt to plant as well as harvest must have been carried out by women alone. It’s a shame that the same civilization that it founded later reduced its role..

      4. It seems perfectly plausible that life was organized around a timetable fixed by women until somebody decided war and territorial acquisition was more important than peacetime activities. Modern dictators use the same methods—who controls the army controls the country.

      5. The scope of institutional control is now being used by benevolent despots in democratic setup even. Institutions ranging from media and education are especially targeted. It will not be long when democracy to will be unable to fill the void of discontent.

    1. I wonder where my reply went? I can’t remember what I said, but I think you’re right about home being wherever we feel at peace, the physical place being less important than our feeling of rightness.

  3. I haven’t been in the garden yet to dig my hands into the soil, but I’m happy to feel the stone floor beneath my feet again! Your poem speaks to me, Jane!

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