Wherever you walk on this island
you strike stone, the erratics
and karsts of the storm beach
left here a hundred million years.
They have cleared what they could,
blocked them up into walls and built
a fortress over clints and grykes.
Seems all green grows thorny here
at edges and the edges’ edges.
That salt air tips the thistles
and the stones put down roots.
The whole world is a shrine,
I want to say, and marked
with stones—though it is not true.
Nor is it a grave. It may be
there is no whole world at all,
only an island in troubled seas,
or only what I know of it is hard
as stone, but soluble in water.

Dave Lucas studied literature and poetry at John Carroll University (BA, 2002), the University of Virginia (MFA, 2004), and the University of Michigan (PhD, 2014).  His first book of poems, Weather (VQR / Georgia, 2011), received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Named by Rita Dove as one of thirteen “young poets to watch,” he has also received a “Discovery/The Nation Prize and a Cleveland Arts Prize. In 2018, he was appointed the second Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio. A co-founder of Cleveland Book Week and Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery, he also teaches at the John Carroll Young Writers Workshop, the Oklahoma Arts Institute, and in the Medical Humanities program at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.