It's a question of ground, of where one stands, or, more precisely, of where one falls. Some earth is loamy, soft as pillows, and dark: every seed that falls, falls asleep, logs rot quietly, and stones sink, slow as broken ships through the bottomless ocean, nothing to support, nothing to resist. Despite parables, it is better to fall upon stony places, or among thorns, to spring up quickly, and armed against sun and sharp knives, to know through scorching days and stinging nights the unforgiving earth, the rock and the hard place that do not fail in their fury to drive the withered children of arid loins in defiance of placating men of peace and implacable, arrogant gods. In the desert, the children parch, and die, and, desiccated, watch still, dead-eyed, in the singing air. The bloodied shards of stone provide root-grip and direction: their faces turn, unblinking, to the wind. From their mouths, shadows escape, drifting like smoke on the backdraft, gathering like clouds below the horizon, and waiting for the sun, to rise.