Thursday, March 30, 2023


Could you, if you wanted to,
Pick out one fractured cobble
Of decorative gravel

In xeriscaped landscaping
And study it to the point
Where its uniqueness killed you?

Scrutinizing arrangements
Of broken black, dun, and gray
Making variegated

Swooping patterns surrounding
A desert subdivision
Punctuated by saplings,

You doubt there’s any fossils,
And you know that there’s no ore.
The sandstones and basalt chunks

Are as homogeneous
As repeated processes
Of extrusion, weathering,

Layering, and eroding
Can manage. But pick one up,
A palm-sized, porous gray lump

Like all the others around.
Peer at it like Yorick’s skull.
Try to make some sense of it.

Keep trying. It’s just a rock.
Get beyond labeling it
Igneous, metamorphic.

When it starts speaking to you,
When you could recognize it
From across a crowded room,

That rock will be meaningful,
Abiotic as it is,
And meaning will just slay you.

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