Feb 272010

by Bradley Earle Hoge


The rock crumbles

a little bit – history crystalline

between my fingers

rock cliffs eroding into sand and silt

The sunset reminds me of Cap –


onslaught of rain and wind

tumbling into streams

The man who survived

Louisiana summers on the farm

before the modern convenience of Freon


along river bottoms

reaching the ocean despite floods

the depression, world wars

fighting bravely

raising a family of seven

losing two at birth,

storms and drought

settling into bed of sediment

one as a young adult – complications

of trisomy 21

compacted, cemented

together over time


who became an electrician and worked

his way up

in the union, in his church, in his son’s eyes

by tectonic forces

raised to mountain tops

heated by metamorphosis into schist

sand grains

who retired and made toys

for grandkids and Church auctions

returned to his garden

enlarged into glimmering rolling sheets

as if tread on

by 18-wheel semis

resting quietly             the man

who died of asbestosis

who wasn’t bitter

he had a family to support

for millions of years until intruded

by magma cooling

within the schist forcing the sand grains

to recrystalize

how could he make different choices?

how could he sacrifice more?

into black and white, horneblende

and quartz, the man

who when he died

promised and delivered


together and large enough

his soul back to us from heaven

to sparkle like ancestry in a child’s eyes

our adopted son

  2 Responses to “Gneiss: a translation”

  1. Beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes.

  2. ‘ His soul back to us from heaven to sparkle like ancestry
    in a child’s eyes ‘

    I really like this,really. I think that’s sort of a mixed metaphor at the end ?