Ringing Rocks Park, by Alan Toltzis

Ringing Rocks Park
by Alan Toltzis

the underside of a tree steams,
its unsightly crawl
of dirt and decay clinging
to a hairy mesh of roots.

By all rights,
these displaced things,
unused to autumn light
yellowing in early afternoon,
should flee.
But this unseemly ganglion
continues to seethe and twist.

In the bright sun
of the adjacent boulder field,
the live rocks sing
their muted requiem,
each striking its own clear tone.

Process Note: I live outside of Philadelphia, close to Ringing Rocks State Park, but had never heard of it until last year when it made a list of top 10 spookiest places in the country. So my wife and I set out to explore. The park earns its name because of its 8-acre boulder field of “live rocks” that ring like a bell when they are hit with a hammer. Only a few places in the world have rocks like this. Take a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5cJbcoWaH8 The music starts around 1:13 and while the rocks ring for anyone, most people can’t make music like this!

Alan Toltzis, is the author of The Last Commandment. Recent work has appeared in print and online publications including Hummingbird, Right Hand Pointing, Once Sentence Poems, IthacaLit, and r.k.v.r.y. Quarterly. Find him online at alantoltzis.com.


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