Sunday, July 22, 2007

"On the Edge" version 4

Crags of rock tear holes in the blanket of turf
which tucks over your melange – shiny serpentine
sheared with shale, borne up from old sandbars
pressed to terraces, a flight of stairs,
each year gaining a millimeter on the sea.

Pacific gales shave your face of coarse
sands and gravels, and a stubble
of conglomerates emerges – cherts
from radiolarian blooms reddened by pressure,
veins of white quartz, grass green crystals
of omphacite pyroxene pocked by garnets
and flaky muscovite silver, eclogite and
bluescist with its amphibole, glaucophane,
lawsonite, squeezed into flow, slickenside
grooves from what drove them down.

The drop you offer, the one the youth has walked
a mile along, a black beach below seething with white wave-shatter,
a hardy yellowed foam drying on softened
lost telephone poles and the occasional
dingy polystyrene chunk, how sheer is it,
what speed does a rock knocked loose
get to get to in full tumble? There are places
you offer slope of various grades;
there are places you offer air
all the way down.

A Pleistocene sea stack washed by the waters
of what gives you heft hulks skinnily in
the churning. The wind yanks his tie
from its clip, and it swings out from his neck,
a tail feather lonesome for tail and sky.
You give him ground, here at ocean edge,
all he needs to stand and feel, his clothes
aflutter on him.

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