Essence of Mineral

A child set among cliffs
She split stones
Out of streambeds of rose
Quartz, fluorspar, granite and
Lime, the combustible
Carbon, a glint of rich dark
Mud, a source as of beckoning
Diamond glittering up from
Underneath the coal,
The shaft and the quarry
Mining past breaking way
Into a yield of fragments,
Veins of amethyst and crystal
Ore caught within the grasp of
One solitary girl’s already
Patterned hand even then like
The poet, she surveyed
Layer after layer yet
Never questioned at first
What might have caused this
Mighty compression of earth
This planet of barely contained
Fire within rock,
She only inquired why of
Beauty, why the deep purple
Creek beds, why a flicker in
Green mosses, consider the
Ancient trunks of trees then
So many steep and narrow
Stone stair steps, rising damp
Tunnels through which a young
Woman could fingertouch
Her way toward a top of
Bending grasses and golden
Sky, growing old do all
Questions pose risk, unearth
Shadow, does every life
Spend time asking of both
Remembrance and the horizon,
Why these passages of
The fragile body
Pushing its way toward
Births of space and of sunlight,
Toward the unexpected even
Painful intake of air,
A sudden rush of breathing,
As if breath could fulfill
Breathtaking distances;
Discover yet one more
Revelation of worlds
Beyond reach, the soul’s
Innermost core time upon
Time bursting with the most
Infinite and the most
Marvelous of longings.