The Adirondack Review
GATHERING MOSS


Surely the stone would not suddenly find itself encased

in a velvet muff of moss if it merely stopped rolling; after all,

  it might come to a standstill in a spot that lacked the moist good

moss requires.  Piles of sedentary stone have stood in sandy deserts,

bleached by sun, unspeckled by moss.  There was no moss on

indolent moon rocks; lunar vegetation would have made the headlines,

provoked thoughtful interviews with Carl Sagan.  Evidently,

many stationary stones manage to miss out on moss.

There is more to moss than mere halting - unplanned fluke,

serendipity. Knowing that, it may make more sense to accept the loss

of moss, and enjoy the rough adventures of rolling, despite the implications

of downward mobility. You wake up in a different place each day and never

grow bored or outstay your welcome. You travel without a passport,

see the world without paying for transport. You careen down mountains

scaring hikers, go rafting in unruly waters, surrender to slope,

to gravity. Moss requires tradeoffs, and one of them is staying put

in a damp spot.  Some stones may find real satisfaction in settled

tranquility, in providing space for green growth. Other pebbles

have precipitate souls, value exuberance, cultivate the arts of falling

fluently, and embrace the spry delights of a mossless life.

  In this matter of moss, as in many others, there are pluralities

of possibility, a rich variety of ways to be stone.









The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
UMA NARAYAN was born in India and came to the United States as a graduate student. She is Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College, and mostly writes academic prose. She has only recently begun to send out her poetry, and has had poems published or accepted by Bellowing Ark, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Pacific Review, and Neo-Victorian/ Cochlea.
Uma Narayan