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. In 2021, her book Strange to Say: Etymology for Serious Entertainment and her book Connoisseurs of Worms are forthcoming from Paul Dry Press.
Deborah Warren

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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. In 2021, her book Strange to Say: Etymology for Serious Entertainment and her book Connoisseurs of Worms are forthcoming from Paul Dry Press.