The Old Red Sandstone

Through the wan chalk under my feet
a red vein runs heading
(often hidden) for the
heart of the country;
ancient seabed buried beneath
later swimmers, rising now and then
like a shark’s fin breaking the surface
spreading an ochre stain.

Capillaries are sometimes cut off as
new sea scrapes bare and scarps
old sea into new land,
promontories, peninsulae;
and going North it meets and merges
with the mother lode, the
Old Red Sandstone that sits beneath
all but the Archean rocks

having surfed Earth’s tides from
Antartica to the Tropics,
encasement in Pangaea, bidding
farewell to America as
Atlantic was born and rushed
to push them apart, leaving it
alone, full of gaunt fish
gawping at eternity.

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  • Jacqueline Dick  On April 30, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Interesting take on the ancient sea…arteries and capillaries almost humanizes it…and the eternal stare of the gaunt fish underscores the eternal quality of the sea and how it connects to land and humans…

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