January 18, 2021

How Many Stones Have Fallen Since?

by James C. Stephens

October 23, 1997

In deep pain

wounded, slowly bleeding

fighting an invisible foe,

wounded by brothers

Crying out

no one answers.

Does anyone understand?

Only One.


I look to the mountains

and heal in the quietness.

Remember there is life.

Tired of replaying other’s tapes

facing blind institutions

in at nine out at five.


Remembering Beggar crying in the street in Kathmandu

daughter of Nepal being stoned by brother

we interfere for a moment staying his hand

how many stones have fallen since?


Remote village in rain, frightened child

screaming in the night

Still pond, fog rolls in, prisoners awake before dawn

Crying out in silence

no one answers.

Does anyone understand?


Solitary confinement til death

Knowing sin, knowing grace

Letters wondering

is anyone there?