Rock Sniffing

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 6/18/08

Here, the terrestrial is no soft girl redolent
With delicate, droopy leaves and mushy
Mammalian processes. Instead, she is a lean,
Motionless frame of rocks on rocks, exposures
Of bone dried down to a stump of fine,
Reptilian sage. Pheromones of impossibly distant
Geologic eras are now astringently squeezed
Out of distances and grandeurs dauntingly
Indescribable to the eye, but still sensed,
In-scented, by that which we were — are —
In desert atmospheres extant before
The merely three-dimensional dominated.
The medium of language struggles here,
And that being, who was and is the first-born
Of the ethers, endows us with capacities
Inherent in his special, ancestral nature.
“What is coeval is also eternal,” he tells us.
When the roots of everything cogitable disappear,
We realize that in the dry, stratifications
Of these red-rock monuments there are
Also odor-stratifications, the remains of
The expulsions of millennia of wastes —
Extinctions of whole genera, which somehow,
This morning, transcend the peeled blue
Of the immaculate sky and the keen edges
Of the visible rocks, and make invisible mountains
From erotic essences that rise up again on slender,
Glass-like legs, and silently slip through this
Brilliant sun-bleached stillness,
Dragging a scaly tail through dry perfumes.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.