Michael Knisely


Each time a skipping stone touches the water
a moment, a year, a decade sails by.

Walking along the shore of any body
of water, and the temptation rises up

to fling what good stones you can
find, to skip and fly out like magic

across the surface.The challenge is
first to find the best stones available:

somewhat flat, and spherical, heavy enough
to keep moving between skips that you try

to count as far as the eyes can pinpoint
into that distant, sudden accumulating

fivesixseveneightnineten, eleven, did you see that?

Use too light or too flat a rock, and the first
skip may be an only skip: a high, arcing dive.

Then that becomes the object, to see how
far and how high you can make the rock sail.

All the implied, ultimate meaning of the Universe
contained in the lifetime of a stone skipping home.