Posts Tagged ‘erosion’



And again the world tumbles me

and again I emerge smoother, softer,

less sharp, less whole. Someday I will be

less solid, less myself, more a part of everything,

more a grain of sand that knows itself as one of many, easily

moved by the current, until finally, I

am less sand, more sea.

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Sometimes when I feel my heart

harden, become quartzite, a stone

hard enough to cut my tooth, hard

enough to cut the blade of a knife,

I let myself be led

into the narrow and moss-soft gorges

of the Appalachians.

The creek here has rendered the sandstone

edges into rounded walls

where hemlock and dark green lichen grow.


It’s no revelation that this church

of curves is the work of water.

Still, when my friend Paul mentions

that only because the water is moving

is it able to erode the stone, the knowledge

washes me new. How long have I been settled

in a quiet pool?


I have tried not to move, tried not

to be tumbled. For a moment,

I envy the rounded bit of quartzite

Paul holds in his palm.


No, I tell myself. That would only change

the surface of things. What is smoothed

is no less hard. I turn to the ferns

growing out of the rock. Time

for a new metaphor.


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You are the glacier
and you the flood
and you the ceaseless wind.

You are the drip,
the drip that drip drops
and you the river’s hands.

And I’m the moraine
the canyon, the delta
and I am the one who wears

the howl of you, touch of you
carve of you, brush of you
long after you’ve disappeared.

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