on her soothing breasts –
the rolling hills of early world
her rib cage unyielding, consoling
the bedrock of memory
eroded by life
now covered in moss.
I collect her bones now and often wonder
about that mad mantle moving underneath
the rigid, yet brittle mask of her lithosphere,
and how, without her, I wouldn’t be here.
she mystified sailors at sea,
with glauconite eyes,
copper complexion, rhodonite lips.
She buried them too
when she capsized their ships.
Her black asphalt breath,
the tenacious lava tongue,
I can still hear the lament of her cracking core.
She may be stone-hearted, yet benevolent,
her resilience is a gift to us all.
Every once in a while,
she still churns up the grit
with spew and volume
ash cloud renders her face ghastly
while the tectonic plates solemnly grind.
Her adamant mouth no longer blisters,
her cracks and quirks that once endowed her
drew fault lines to outline her solitude.
As a strand of her ashy hair settles down
she withers into a deep grave.
About this poem: A volcanologist draws a parallel between two familiar phenomena: volcanoes and motherhood. Due to their destructive nature volcanoes are often misunderstood. But they are another natural phenomenon just like human existence. By drawing parallels between volcanology and psychology, we can expose and celebrate the temperaments but also the vital, life-giving properties. The poem is a part of a series of poems in which two sciences that have no relation a priori are intertwined in order to consider sciences as they relate to our personal lives and to other scientific disciplines.