I Am Rock

I am Rock.
Born of stellar fire I rode on glaciers
and slept uncountable millennia in depths of earth.
Reshaped by magma flood I was rejuvenated, tumbled, tossed,
spewed out upon this sparse and lonely hillside.
Rain washes me, frost burns, caressing sun
strokes shadows on my pocked and lichen-crusted skin.
And tiny stars, bright as granite eyes,
bore holes through space  to cool me, quench my inner fires.
I absorb the life around me.
My atoms soak up sentience from tiny creatures
scurrying through my cracks and crevices; 
from those who seek my shelter - scratching rodents,
nesting birds and hedgehogs, playful badgers.
My consciousness increases and although I seem inert, unmoving,
protons, neutrons, rush through time and space,
make patterns  that create me as I am,
this substance that is called a rock.
And then there's man;
his hands and feet that pulse and linger, scrape and scuff.
His palms pressed flat upon my face arrest and stiffen;
he feels my life throb through his veins as I feel his.
Sometimes I know the sacred touch of reverence,
sometimes contempt of rod and hammer,
sometimes the chisel's artistry.
Garlands of flowers or dust of destruction,
good and evil are the same to me.
Beauty of church, strength of castle,
comfort of cottage, bleakness of prison,
all are of my making.
 
I was here when whining bombers shattered night like glass.
I was here when the men in long ships came.
I was here when Roman legions marched to war.
I was here when a star shone over Bethlehem.
I was here when giant reptiles stalked the forests.
I was here when Adam was still clay;
I will be here when he returns to dust forever.
When seas turn black and swallow up  the land,
when darkness eats the sun, and stars collide,
when all things end I will be here.
I am Rock.