Geologue Picks Up a Pebble and Says to Us ‘See!’

‘I will visit the mountains with great Exactness’
with one foot and then the other foot
Prisoners and vagrants tortured on treadmills
Himalayan passes in tennis shoes
and little girls cover their ears when the planes go over
‘Such terrour without danger is only one of the sports of fancy’
Tear newspapers, then match their edges
Three sons, all lance corporals and all of them dead
(Tens of thousands of tons falling in silence)
You could pay a franc to fire a cannon
Now aspen grown up in the rubble field
and something that might have been elk thistle
might have been Chinese Gordon’s head on a pike
Push through willow, there’s a path here somewhere
pile of deer hair without bones, and a candy wrapper
(I don’t let Doomsday bother me. Does it bother you?)

‘Now, a stupid painter would represent, for instance, a drinking glass’
or ‘an avalanche dripped like lazy lace down the route we had climbed that morning’
Great good fortune! Great good fortune!
White tip on the tail of a sparrowhawk eating a sparrow!
Don’t rush to detail, my teacher says
to the pencil in my hand
Geologue picks up a pebble and says to us ‘See!’

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