Rock Steady

Floating Ladders4
By Clifton Snider
I imagine serious devotion
to gods & priests & potentates
compelled ancient builders
to contrive archetypal monuments:
Göbekli Tepe, dolmens, menhirs,
Stonehenge, the pyramids.

Today I visit a monolith
100 million years old,
two stories high,
340 tons
from Stone Valley Quarry, Riverside.

Music blares from speakers
(“Rock Lobster,” “We Will Rock You”)
and a band plays live,
mothers bring children,
people paint pictures,
click cell phones & cameras,
and a man walks on stilts
as if in Renaissance celebration.

High-quality cotton from Egypt
covers the stone, wrapped
tight in white, suspended in a steel sling,
steady, like a mega-magnet
above the pavement of Atlantic Avenue,
a stop on a trip eleven days long,
headed for L.A.,
a granite stone
shaped like the Matterhorn,
not by any human person,
permanent as volcanic fire,
a work of transport,
a Levitated Mass,
secular & divine.

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