They still seem to me to be jewel rocks,
all the forms of quartz,
perched here and there, watching what we do.

Quartz can enclose emeralds and sapphires,
unless they’re crystal and you can see they don’t.

Posed wherever they are pleased to,
milky white and rose and clear and tawny brown,
quartz is a family of precious, semi-precious, and mundane,
amethyst, chalcedony, agate, citrine, tourmaline, beryl.

Clutched by roots, bedded in the road,
or in the branch, simply there,
inhabited by life forms, some that share their surfaces,
some that invade and digest them at the old pace of gaciers.

The ants, both black and red,
which probably will bring trouble,
are building a metropolis in the middle of the path.

A human body with a camera looming over their city
sends them underground in an instant,
quicker than a Cooper’s hawk clears a yard of birds.
There were thousands crossing and crissing as I approached,
then there were none.
Zoom in on the picture and you’ll see,
in nearly every hole, ant heads looking up,
waiting for the all-clear.

The holes are new, they have no hills yet to shed rain.
Every couple of weeks they will be overrun by a 700 pound mower.
This was not an auspicious siting.

Perhaps they will endure regardless,
or be crushed, or move a few feet sidewards.

I’m betting they will outlast me, one way or another, as will the rocks.