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Arts & culture from the fringe. Back to blog home.

  • Writer's pictureOwl of the Desert

Plain and Precious

Art by Gary Ernest Smith,

I say unto you,

That God is able of these stones

to raise up children unto Abraham.

― Luke 3:8

​Is the stone

or seer

the instrument


inappreciable things

to us


(If stone,

why seer?

If seer,

why stone?)

What makes rock


(does God esteem

atoms in carbon

hardened into diamond

more than those of feldspar

olivine or quartz)?

Seers are peters


from plain folk

(common as river rock)

seeking the Inappreciable

in ordinary stoneship:

Seeing in plainness





About the Author

Owl of the Desert is the nom de plume of Tim Merrill. He grew up in the foothills of Sacramento, California, on a farm where he raised horses and sheep. When Moses turned forty, he slew an Egyptian and fled for his life. Less dramatically, when Tim turned forty, he decided to share some of his poetry.

One of his favorite things about being a father is surprising his kids by doing something totally unexpected: like when he woke them up at midnight to see a blood wolf moon and performed a dance on the freezing front lawn in his pajamas (as they repeatedly told him to hush before the neighbors woke). Most magical things come unexpectedly.

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