I guess the scientist I watched on the news yesterday after the earthquake ticked me off. She seemed so annoyed, when she ought after all to be in her element.
This solid-seeming earth’s a mist, a rolling
sea of subatomic particles. It takes a day like this,
when tectonic plates sing out like struck bells,
to put us straight. What we know as solid isn’t—
a seething, shifting, undifferentiated mass.
We rise like spongy bracket fungus
from the trunk of that old redwood, feeding
where we can. Made of the same stuff
as the tree, although it doesn’t seem so.
Perhaps geologists, in their spotless coats,
probing and measuring, looking so satisfied
in what they know, will any minute feel
the jolt, and fall down on their knees, afraid.