piyp day

piyp day
Poem In Your Pocket Day

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mesquite


“The mesquite’s root system is the deepest documented; a live root was discovered in a copper mine over 160 feet below the surface. Like all known trees, however, 90% of mesquite roots are in the upper 3 feet of soil. This is where most of the water and oxygen are. The deep roots presumably enable a mesquite to survive severe droughts, but they are not its main life support”

– from A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert (ASDM Press, eds. Phillips & Comus, 2000)


Down here
the layers of earth
are comforting
like blankets.

The soil I think of
as time. Below the caliche
I sift through sediment
from thousands of years.

Though the sharp desert light above
is another world, its pulse
courses through me.

When the mastodons
and ground sloths roamed,
its pulse coursed through me.

When the Hohokam
in the canyon
ground my pods
in the stone
its pulse coursed through me.

When the new gatherers
of the desert
learn again how to live here,
its pulse will course through me.
 

And I say, I will be ready
if the drought comes.

And I say, go deep
into the Earth.

And I say, go deep
into yourself, go deep

and be ready.


Eric Magrane


in the first years of the twenty-first century

it is more than
                        language
makes us human
what is it that I hear
what is it that I want
a poetry of geologic time
outside everything we know
when we are out
                        on the edges
today’s gods
in our own understanding
            a new arrangement
underneath the surface
            today’s structure
                        swirling light—


& shining history

weighs less than

a spider

Eric Magrane 

Originally published in Tygerburning Literary Journal, Spring 2010.

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