Elementary

.
Earth

Today I troll for a poem of humus
dark and rich as the French Roast
which always starts my day
and is always a gift

On this four billion-year-old
orbiting terrapoem fungi,
woodlouse and eelworms
spend millennia decomposing
in concert with nematodes
actinomycetes and protozoa
doling water, and with bacteria
fix nitrogen in a scheme
age old and symbiotic

On this bluegreen poem women,
men and other animals troll and plow,
sweat and think, and draw
their own lives from it,
build their days upon it,
from which come their bones
and to which their bones and breath
come and go in intervals, like comets

Air

in this rambling walkabout
with friends who’ve shed
conceits together we drop them
as one sloughs old clothes

into low-pressure systems of our lungs
we pull fresh atmosphere November cool
in and out and in again,
in a rhythm old but not antique,
and thank lobe-finned progenitors
who learned to suck sweet life from H2O
to reap its oxygen, and in return
until we’re absolutely through,
we reply in gratitude with gusts of CO2

Fire

Heraclitus said that all is flux
or, I’d say, fire

never still
the more we yearn
the more things move
they hotter burn

Water

all rivers fall by rules of space curtailed by banks
that hem obedient pulsing rivers in,
forced by tugging mass sometimes we resist,
sometimes acquiesce, are dragged from top to bottom

inclined to give and take, to toss and push, to swell and plunge
(by some dark scripts) from Paradise to Sodom

.

by Jim Culleny
11/20/14

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