Song of the Lithophyte
As the heavy centuries have passed
their light repeating strokes across creation,
flowing the veils of earth at last
from a millennium’s striation
yet working only on the surface of the whole,
so, subtle tireless and remote
the long years have washed you,
put here a line upon your curving throat,
there in your dark hair a mica hue,
but pause now as the work draws near your soul.
A green airy growth lives inside each crack
the weathered rock turns upward to the sun.
The rain that slices inward to the bone
reveals its solemn involuted knack
of being rich in what all else may shun,
thriving on the rind of true alone.
As the hand of man has served
to carve a quicker gore than windblown sand
toward the ore the hillside hides reserved,
so your face is mined by your own hand.
The channels there were cut by salted tears,
and not the wayward miners of the years.
Your face was markless once beside the river
where we lay in harmony of mind.
Downstream the nuclear fire could not deliver
half the power there for us to find.
Firefly light made weedy shadows vast
where the vapor of the meadow burned
with heatless fire.
In the timestream’s flux we put a mast,
round which the planetary sails billowed and turned
at our desire.
As the wheel of centuries has made
chaos out of order, life from death;
as the crags and peaks where Moses prayed
were once the ballroom where the breath
that cuts them now to dust and ruin
was only known as seaweed’s dancing tune,
so now upon your face old thoughts parade
that I would sink deep roots in if I could
and end this lithophytic serenade
with soft sleep together in the green wood
and above us put the timeless firmament
at one with time’s and nature’s own intent.
You can find some additional information about some of the elements in this poem here