Traces of my legend may be found
behind a sheep pen where I infiltrated
a barbed wire fence to scout for nopal
and mariposa lilies in the shadow
of the world’s largest flat-topped mountain.
Or the saga begins on a summer day
when the Navy officer and his bride
stopped their Indian motorcycle to peer
at the Grand Canyon in the rain,
two tectonic plates clashing.
Or the myth starts beneath the Vishnu,
Brahma and Rama schists, where
a crystalline temple stands,
earth rising to worship the triumvirate
holding the world in balance.
For a chapter, Kilauea marked the path
with second-hand smoke and ash,
hot pancakes, occasional explosive
eruptions letting off steam, enriching
the loam with nutrients for growth
The story continues: young intrusive
rocks, still soft and malleable, are formed
and deformed by pressure and heat,
folding, stretching, and shearing,
little ultramafic chips off the old blocks.
Over time, things happen: separations,
continental drift, shifting, settling, sliding,
metamorphic rock covering younger layers,
then smoothed by water, ice, frost and wind
to the gentle, rounded forms you see today.
Inspired by VJ’s weekly challenge.
The mountain in the first verse is Grand Mesa in Colorado. The last verse refers to the Blue Ridge in Virginia.