EARTH ASSUMES MANY NATURES

sometimes quite sandy, sometimes the clay
we inherit

black loam’s best for farming
excessive acid or alkali
impose their toll
compacted soil simply won’t breathe
my Lady of Potting
explains

“organic matter,” she says, meaning compost
and manure, especially. “it needs to be fed”

to say nothing of her disdain for “dead dirt”

so I stop to admire earthworms
flourishing in healthy soil

air appears in many natures
especially when it breathes
inspiration. expiration. a circle of life
a tornado, a cooling, a withdrawal into nothing
dry lines of laundry. clear a picnic table
swirl smoke from an open blaze. snuff burning matches
lift a kite. lift an airplane. lift birds
and countless insects. sometimes paper
sometimes squirrels. ripple the waters
ripple the flags. the prayer flags, especially
burn with heat. freeze with ice

water appears in many natures
sometimes sweet. sometimes salty
sometimes running. sometimes still
fresh or brackish. a cloud, a storm, a gentle rain
a stream, a pond, a cavernous pool, an ocean

rock appears in many natures
sometimes quartz-infused. sometimes basaltic
limestone’s favored for buildings
granite, for headstones and curbstones
coal fuels industry. ore refines into metal
gemstones become mysterious in their clarity
mountains tear into the wind. shape the rain

some qualities are visible. many are not
they mix together in thousands of ways
look at the horizon, look at the ground
landscapes emerge apart from map-making

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
For more,
click here.

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