Pressure

Put a little pressure and heat on rock,
give it time, and shale turns into slate.
It’s the same with calcium carbonate
slowly reinventing itself as chalk.

Limestone’s in no hurry; it started to harden
during the Lower Jurassic into marble.
Graphite spends millennia on diamond:

The luxury of eons.
………………………………At any rate,
slow or slower, they move in mineral time
with plenty of leisure for maturing late.
Nice for them. I have a different clock,
skin-shallow. Animals can’t afford to wait.

Deborah Warren

Deborah Warren

Deborah Warren’s books include The Size of Happiness (2003, Waywiser Press); Zero Meridian (2004, Ivan R. Dee), winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize; Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008, Evansville), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (2017, Routledge). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review.
Deborah Warren

Latest posts by Deborah Warren (see all)

Author: Deborah Warren

Deborah Warren’s books include The Size of Happiness (2003, Waywiser Press); Zero Meridian (2004, Ivan R. Dee), winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize; Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008, Evansville), which won the Richard Wilbur Award, and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (2017, Routledge). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review.