Climb inside this stone to find a forest,
a respite of calm order from earth’s chaos.
Here the trees are limbless and liminal,
boundless as they build their boundaries.
The particular oxides that quartz takes
into its predictable geometry
color every copse of six-sided trunks.
Having never seen light, they are greedy.
They break and bend the sun’s strongest rays.
The whole of the spectrum! You can see it
as if seeing an egg pour from its shell
or a forest in the first month of fall.
Why would a stone hide its gifts? Modesty?
Perhaps something in a stone wants mystery.
What mystery could this stone want? Empty
at center, unaware of its destiny,
never having heard a red wolf’s howl,
or the way a wren breaks out in a scold
at a climbing snake or a hawk’s silhouette.
Despite all this, nothing in the stone strays.
Nothing wanders from some swamp or reedy
marsh. What is here is here. Only a slow flux,
a fresh breeze that has just found these trees,
these crystals pyramid-capped like monks
of an older order. Their diaries
kept safe in caves, held shut by iron nails,
are now open, after centuries, to us.
Just the sight, the touch of them, and we feel blessed.