Milestones and Tombstones

We live and breathe on top of a rock,

A furnace aflame at the core.

The time is passed in carving stones

That we leave just to carve some more.


Carving stones and getting stoned,

Milestones every day.

Stones for walls and graffitied pedestals

And Stones to roll away.


We don’t give much thought to another Stone,

The one with our name and date,

The one that other hands will carve,

The one that lies in wait.


The miles we go, the deeds we do,

The friends along the paths.

And others we have long forgot,

The miles now mute the laughs.


We mark these miles as best we can,

In memory and in ink,

And all along the ways we go,

Our Chain, a golden link.


The Chain is how we mark our time

In passing to and fro.

The miles we jog, the distance logged,

Blindfolded is how we go.


Stones always have a special spot,

A place in every age,

For fires it’s flints, and tools defense,

Trails marked with corners blazed.


The time and seasons they come and go,

They leave us with ample space,

To fill our books, to file our pics,

And box it all in place.


For all we do, the miles we store,

Between like shadows fall,

The stones we carve, the stones we leave,

And the final Stone of all.


The moving finger always writes,

Its message left behind.

Neither wit nor wish can lure it back,

Only milestones do we find.


Through miles and tiles a mosaic is laid,

The Legacy leaves what it will.

It was what it was on the journey made,

Some stones are silent and still.


Milestones made in my old hometown,

Where years over sixty have been,

Blurred with age till Charlie calls,

And they come back to life again.


He tells the news of his orchard lost,

When winds of Michael blew through.

Two stones he has, which one to choose,

The choice was not hard to do.


He planted it back, all four hundred trees,

For a harvest he will never receive.

But it was not about the harvest, you see,

It was all about planting the seeds.


Eliot writes that between the idea,

And the reality it seeks to achieve,

There’s first the motion, then the response,

And for milestones that’s all we need.


The stones still stand with their guard at the gate,

Of the Eden we left years ago.

Looking back is a waste of time,

There are miles with stones left to go.


We often think that the end is in sight,

But it keeps starting over again.

Milestones and Tombstones, they’re both in our path,

It’s our choice between beginning and end.


Milestones and Tombstones…sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.  But, oh, the difference.



Bud Hearn

October 23, 2020