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 press
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
so nearly mingled part
into separate continents.
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 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.