Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Life in geologic time (6-16-09)

Strata one
The waves slap
at my tender toes
insinuating themselves
in the whorls and ridges
of the mountain range
of my skin
feeding the greedy
roots of desire
seeking entry
to grind away
and pry my bones
into tiny
grains of sand
to be washed away
into the order
and chaos
of the universe.

I pull my foot back
and watch the water
drip harmlessly
as I wonder what’s
for dinner and hop
away into the comfort
of home where Mom
awaits and pots sputter
and hiss.

Strata two
Currents ripple
across the surface
unaware of the
riot below
as eddying mountains
flow in counterpoint
to a rush of raindrops
hurtling down
in discordant chaos
gushing wildly
in the eternal
flow of progress
as each tiny
clod of dirt
melts and flows
in a water-laden
ballet of nonchalance
journeying toward
an igneous ending
or a sandstone sunrise.

Uneasy at my core
I turn in bed and
pull a pillow
over my head and
try to agree with myself
not to ponder the meaning
of infinity
as raindrops dance
a haunting tattoo
on the eaves outside.

Strata three
Lives rise and fall
encased in stone monuments
that will eventually
grind themselves
into nothing
yet momentarily
stand sentinel
to the brief flicker of
projected reality
defined by mothers
and fathers,
lovers and daughters
worn down by water
mixed with liberal
libations of love
poured into the ground
until eventually
the soil grows heavy
and threatens to dissolve
leaving a whole
in the quilt through which
all is forgotten
and names wear away
above chiseled dates
that fall off
and run away
to join the circus
of the netherworld
deep inside
the cavern of the past.

Fish dart and twist
disappearing as one
and I swim toward them
dazzled by the ocean’s
warm embrace as I skim
the surface just above
the outstretched arms
of a coral forest
oblivious to the waves
that gently toss me
to and fro
drawing me deeper
out to sea.

Strata four
Blind eyes gaze
upon vast plains
of eroded lives
drifting in dunes
of irrelevant detritus
collected from years
of living and loving
hating and mending
only to be ground
by the forces of life
into meaningless bits
of sparkling dust
that catch in the wind
shimmering with hope
and joining others
in a silent storm of
as random shapes
take on totemic
forms in the embrace
and quiet comfort
of the lulling breeze
that gathers strength
with each new grain
that swirls and adds
to the muffling blanket
that covers the hills
and sweeps out the old
and in with the new
as the winds of change
inevitably scour clean
the agreed upon reality
of our lives
and all must surrender
to the silence
of the great cycle
that builds up ranges
from individual
grains of sand.

As I sit and watch
the evaporated ocean
fall from thick fat clouds
I see a flash of silver
from the corner of my eye
as remembered fish
jump in the waves
of my mind
and infinity beckons
because it holds
the idea of you
as this world fades down
to a pantomime of grief
but I know the waves
that slap at this shore
will bring about change
and this grain of sand
with all its unique
whorls and swirls
is but a tiny part
of the mountain of humanity
and as surely as
that long ago coral
has eroded into the beach
so will I join you
in the pantheon
of all that is
and all that ever will be
for without each tiny
cube of sand
that changes back
into a mighty stone
the greatest mountain
could never be.

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