Mudlark No. 44 (2011)


“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt
in his heart, but believes that what he says is going
to happen, it will be granted him.”   Mark 11:23
The mountain cries, I am thirsty!
It longs to drink salt-swell like silence
suspended in transparency, 
a standing wave. 
But the roots of the mountains murmur
in their wizened voices:
Haven’t we been faithful?
Haven’t we served you truly,
gripping and clenching
for millennia here in the dark?
Imagine the vertigo 
if we released you.
And the sea—
such a slippery thing!
One move in its direction,
and it’s instantly elsewhere,
leaving only a wound
where once it lathered and leapt. 
The roots of the mountains 
are older than the mountains.
The roots of the mountains
know only one creed:
If the world could be different, 
It would have been different by now. 
Yet the sea will greet the mountain
with lapidary affection,
and the sea will not cease to rearrange itself 
in troughs and surges, making room
for a storm-sweep of mica and rose quartz,
as entire chains and ranges find themselves 
hurtling through history—
their cartilaginous roots flexing in panic
at this emergency of unprecedented 
and easeful breath.

Claire Bateman | Mudlark No. 44 (2011)
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