The question mark after “Can These Bones Live” is mine.  The title (without the question mark) is Edward Dahlberg’s, from his 1960 study of under-acknowledged masterpieces of American literature. 
     Dahlberg’s bones are writers’ bones. Mine are the bones of rock and tree.  Tender, ancient rocks.  Flinty, lunar trees, slices of the petrified forest.  Can they live?
     Chinese Scholars’ rocks, each having absorbed lifetimes of contemplation by pilgrims of metaphysical need, come to absorb the questing laid before them.  Wisdom and resignation gather in “the guts of their shadows” (the phrase is from poet William Carlos Williams).  Can they listen to us?  Can we listen to them?
     Trees, hardened by our observing them, hold their secrets close.  They are not coy, but understandably careful.
     Do they have faces, these rocks and trees?  Do they betray expressions?  Ask any Eidolon.