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Poems

12.01115

12.01115

"...carbon is the key element of living substance: 
but it's promotion, it's entry into the living world 
is not easy and must follow an obligatory, intricate path..." 
(Primo Levy)


A thousand million years
are not enough to tell
how vertical grass becomes
a crab and then a bee
or honey that it makes
before it's grass again.

And in between, regular
excursions starward,
looking home with eyes
it one day will become
or, water bound,
riding plankton waves.

Which atom in this hand
once lay bound in limestone,
hacked by a pick, 
shovelled to a kiln 
till the molecules broke down
and issued gas blew windward
to settle on a leaf and liquefy?

Pinned there by a photoflash
of sun, became green food,
fortified an oak,
bark where woodworm drilled,
where the moth morphosed
and flew on in it's wing
until the predator's snap;
then again a gas
and then an artichoke
my mother ate.

In carbon, incarnation curls,
reminds us this thin crust
brims with it's atomic weight,
facing, once again unfurled,
the black cess,
nothingness.

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