Posts Tagged quartz

Rocks and a hard place.

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.

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Fauna & fungi, living easy.

Not much, but the bit of rain,
got the suspended droplets and the light just right,


shined up the ornament in the grass,
of cloudy crystal quartz,


and awakened the giants underground,

to upthrust their sort-of flowers here and there,

sharing sometimes with a bird

some seeming prematurely aged,

scarlet and stark whites,

with accidental happy faces,

and with delicious detail.

While, on a different scale, walking on the grass,
the lone doe, Bones, feasts warily on bird-scattered seeds.

Later, down the lawn, shy Esmeralda and her still-spotted twins
from a finch eye view.

After nightfall, on the counter, yes, katydid,
she thought my camera might be a snack.

Outside, the affable ongoing everyday pillage of the feeders.

Our neighbor was sure he saw a bear’s butt slip into the brush
about halfway between our house and his,
a little fellow, 150 pounds max.

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Sorry, groundhog, it’s already on.

Somebody’s always got to be first,
no matter the risk,
so comes the crocus.

Another killing frost to come?

Of course.

But, hello, for today.

Leftovers under foot.

Step gently because it is all alive.

Even the rocks, digested by their dressings.

Quartz born in fire, resting on the loam.


 Quartz born in fire, washed by the waters.

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Floral finale presentation.

The first hard frost is the real end, and that could be weeks.

But all the flowering plants prepare their final bursts.
Many are done already, a few will hang on until their petals freeze.

The chimley rose saved the best for last.


Since staked up, a mowing near fatality.


No more blooms to come, but we’re going out grand.


Will even a frost take down the lemony mint from its summer-long peak?


But the gatekeeper of the herb garden does not care about seasons.
A hunk of cloudy quartz shares some faces with other entities
but marks the gatepost without concern for any of us.


Nor rain nor sleet nor hail — never mind, it’s quite all right.

I’ll just stand here and watch y’all wilt and wither one more time.

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Rocks: it’s how they roll.

Rocks are not alive; probably this is true.

But life surrounds them on a living planet,
covers them, colors them, ever so slowly digests them.


Even the crystals, all edges, vertices, flat faces.
What gives quartz its accuracy as a time keeper?
Not patience alone.


Like some people, some rocks
you’ve got to scrape hard or crack apart to find what’s inside.


The tree has been working here forty or fifty years.

But what exactly is the exchange between these roots and these rocks?


Surrounded since the beginning of the tree, or did they find a way to insinuate themselves?
Were they helped? By some necessarily quite short entity sharing the space inside?

Y’all stay with us, now.


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Mississippi blooming.

 A little dirt, a little water, processed through a bulb: an emblem perfect on a stem.


Lower, where the tree trunk reaches into the earth, a golden dirt bloom.


Lichen shelves, ascending fairie ladder.


Puff. Ball. Woodland antiseptic.


Either the rock grows larger, using it’s fungal affiliates as we use our microbioma.
Or the branch wears away the bottom while the lichens eat the top.
The plastered leaf may stay, may wash away downstream.

2014-09-06_17-13-00_459Camera clicks convert the eddies to shining mirror rock, solid for the instant.


Zooming out, the flow of the branch,
gentle today, going forever down.


The mighty Mississippi waits, assured of what’s coming,
moves all its other work along and waits
as the Little Bald Branch runs into Spring Creek
down to the Pigeon River, down to the French Broad
pausing for the turbines at Lake Douglas, over the TVA spillway
at last to meet the Mississippi
riding down some more to New Orleans
into the Gulf of Mexico, tickling the frenulum of Florida
as it exits into the Atlantic
and sails the Gulf Stream north to the coast of Wales.

That’s it? Or sucked next under arctic ice,
pulled across and down into the deep currents of the Pacific?

Yeah, probably that.
Water like electrons will always go to ground.
The cycle unbroken.

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Duration, variable: rock for the ages, spore for a day.

We wondered, when we first walked the trails here below the Little Sandy Bald,
if the blocks of quartz we saw every three or four steps,
pebble size to boulder size, clear and rosy and cloudy,
held rubies or emeralds inside,
or sapphires, the fancy forms of quartz.

Walking on jewels; we still are.

In nature, square corners.

Quartz with veins.

Most fungal entities are brief,
pop through the soil for a week
then begin immediately to decay.

Sun shock.

Lichen shelf.

But some harden and settle in for the long term.
And become habitats themselves.

New to me.

New variety.

90º around the trunk,
slipped sidewards in time
comes a fresh beginning.

We all did.

Ooze of birth.

The Jain swish the path before their steps
to insure they don’t crush a bug.
I’m less moved by bugs, but hate to find I’ve crushed one of these.

Thrust their buried spores.

Just looks phallic.

Or a family of these.

Read my mind.

Loam cardinals.

Or even one of these.

Holding a little rain.

Just one.

Not this.

Almost all the way around.

Member of extended family.

Not these.

Puff the magic.

Spore bomb.

Or this one.

Citrus are us.

Just one of these, a hole to breathe or blow.

The parent organisms live underground,
safe from my steps,
busy being the synapses between tree roots
powering the internet of trees.
Really: this is fresh-made science.

Be thankful God does not spend all his time deciding softball games
and litigating kidney stones.

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