Ways of Seeing the Mattole


The river flows beneath itself,

seeps through gravel

sand and soil,

pulled by roots,

lifted to leaves, excited

by the sun

into the summer of the sky.


Afloat, afar, adrift, above,

a light ascends,

altered air

aligned anew,

ascribed along a line

achieved again,

again, again against

the river


The seam below descends

between eternities of stone,

gravities of granite pressing

black-hot densities of serpentine,

a warp of solid space, a vertical

plane of subatomic scale,

not the featureless thought-points

of geometry or an arrogant line

on a subterranean map,

but a real place of nanohorizons

where the particles of a planet

part, so nearly mingled,

into separate continents,

while above the shearing

seethe, in the low-lying crotch

of dross, where life clings to

itself in the clefted land

cut by the churn and grind

of the passing plates, water

careens in an endless stream of moments,

a young and transient interloper,

down wrinkles

in the countenance of rock.


A single silvery bubble leads 

the round brown head

to the surface,

broken twice.

In a mass of algae, bright

in the deep of a pool,

mud-dark bodies, smaller

shadows, still in the liquid glow,



at their edge

a smiling line of gold.


Start from the place you began,

the moment you knew you were,

and listen to the shape

of the wind in your ears

and follow the feelings

that form in your heart

and whisper, at first, to the echoes

and shadows that rise

and fall in the dazzling mist

and let yourself and all the others

you find there scrambling for direction

connect and be as one,

and find that you have been here all along.