Spiritus Mundi

This is the poem, written in 1995, mentioned in the previous post.

Spiritus Mundi

From the hot core of the planet
come these rocks I bend to pick up near
the railroad tracks and mud flats,
green with algae at low tide,
where I have come walking with the dog.

From the hot red mass of magma rising
comes vapor jetting skyward, steam
condensed against the cold sky ceiling,
rain to cool the flowing lava,
snow and ice to freeze
and crack and quarry rock, to carry
down the mountainsides in streams
the tideland mud, the sharp-edged rock,
the granite in my hand.

From the hot breath of volcanoes
spewed out in glowing clouds
comes this air — the exhalations
of smoking vents cooled
into winds that blow across the inlet,
across tideland, across the dog’s back
as she sniffs along the railroad tracks —
winds that come to me.

And with this wind is given breath
to shape utterance in my mouth,
to heft the word upon my tongue
as my hand hefts the reality of rock —
the word corporeal: the rock
in which the word is anchored
as breath is anchored in the lungs,
as spirit is anchored in the flesh,
as rain falls downward on the dog,
on my shoulders, on the ground,
on the tough skin of this body earth
to the hot rock gravity, the core.

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