Journal » Trout 10 » A Path Of Least Resistance [Briar Wood]
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A Path of Least Resistance

from 'Lea Valley Sequences'

Briar Wood

On the drive toward Mauna Loa
past groves and roadside rows of    lehua,
relative to rata and pohutukawa,
with my monthly flow about to begin

I have ten tough miles to go through
the rift zone over    a'a    and paahoehoe
to where lava oozes a    twisted beauty
with two testosterone loaded guys
as guides, who set a spraining pace.

I've had enough bad luck
so I won't touch the lady's property –
though you can see why people might be tempted
to pocket a rock or two
because all that glitters is
silica, basalt,    iron, copper
the    jewelled robot body of earth here

radiates enough heat to sear spectators
releasing minerals that cool in layers
grows gold when the lava    simmers down
silver when nearly new
this magma from the world's    molten mantle
hisses its welcome
as the party    walks on solid glass
and whoever stumbles is cut.

A quick lunch of trail mix
surrounded by enough rock to make
mile upon    bended    mile    of road,
rainbow layers of scoria
while the lava is eating    trees – relentlessly
surrounding a kipuka    of    kukui –
to a sound track of methane explosions.

Men prod the hot crust – lift it
watch one cent pieces
engraved with classical pillars
blaze in bright green fire

because for everything ever created
there must be a    juncture of    destruction –
this    is my burnt offering
a scorch marked manuscript    for the goddess
to go up in    clouds of    smoke
to steam    open in the sizzling sea
to do    with it whatever her wish is.


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