Feb 272010

by Bradley Earle Hoge


Here in this box is the broken earth

remnants of rock hammer’s onslaught

collected for the rare blue quartz

the shimmering schists fossil fragments

from ancient seas pyritized brachiopods

armored against time rolled into fetal

position as the broken pieces of their ocean

accumulate in the bottom of this cardboard

container And here on this shelf

is the shark’s jaw nutria’s incisors

turtle shells snake skins bones

articulated on wire scattered arrow

heads geodes un-interred and fractured

for book ends All of these shards

of time offered as lessons of earth’s cycles

the more things change the more they stay

the same. And at the end of a lifetime

these treasures become vestigial

buried in boxes in the attic or given

back to the earth At the end of an age

glaciers retreat extinction is followed

by adaptive radiation A father’s

collection by his son’s discoveries

excavated generation after generation

accumulated into strata buried layer

upon layer re-mineralized preserved

out of sight outside of time Each faint

heartbeat echoing one after another