Herkimer Diamonds, In Matrix

                                             for Joseph at fifty

 Fifty years
 is a billion and a half
 seconds, more or less, just
 time enough to begin
 to feel the earth's rhythms,
 tune to its metabolisms -- not
 the superficial seasons
 but the deep flux
 of bedrock, the jitters
 gathering to jerk.  As stresses
 accumulate the dark interior
 grows electric.  Molecules migrate
 through solid stone, one
 by one along gossamer arteries
 seeking their kind, to assemble
 the crystals of insight
 forming in the cavity of years.

c. 1992