In choice of place

Poem by Gary Snyder, “Rip Rap.” Images by Mark Long, Jiangsu, China, fall 2018

Lay down these words

Before your mind like rocks.

             placed solid, by hands   

In choice of place, set

Before the body of the mind

             in space and time:

            

Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall

           riprap of things:

Cobble of milky way,

             straying planets,

These poems, people,

             lost ponies with

Dragging saddles —

            and rocky sure-foot trails.   

The worlds like an endless   

             four-dimensional

Game of Go.

ants and pebbles

In the thin loam, each rock a word   

             a creek-washed stone

Granite: ingrained

             with torment of fire and weight   

Crystal and sediment linked hot

             all change, in thoughts,   

As well as things.


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