Dec. 5: LavaUmuchly

Big fan, really, from the moment
I first walked across your inky
brittle ground crinkling like glass
underfoot, and look at you go, girl—

meaning no disrespect, Madame
Pele, just enthusiastic yah-hooing
an ocean away from your fountaining
fissures on Mauna Loa this week
that some might call a bit show-offy,
but I see as geologic performance
art, the work of a literal rock star
goddess creating new earth
on the planet.

We don’t get to see your active
state on the surface nearly often
enough for my taste, though I fully
appreciate your great power.

My first time on your island, setting
foot on one of your incarnations—
smooth pahoehoe only months old—
a young geologist leading the way
advised, “If you hear a rumbling noise
run toward the mountain, not the ocean,”

which was how I learned the term
bench collapse, one of which weeks
before had taken two visitors into the sea,
never to be found.

“Of course,” said the scientist
in hard hat and lava-singed boots,
well acquainted with your fiery self,
“if she wants you, she’ll take you.”

That made me grateful for our
safe passage that day and ever after
across lava, which makes me cheer
like a crazy fangirl when I tune in
live to see your screamin’ orange
magnificence blasting through land
you created not that long ago, that
you’ll continue to make long after
I’ve left the planet, when, somehow,
I hope, in some form, I’ll still be
among your enthusiastic admirers.

(Photo / Dick Schmidt)

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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2 Responses to Dec. 5: LavaUmuchly

  1. carol savoie says:

    lots of fun energy in this poem

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