Robert Charles Howard
Sacred Calderas - Poem by Robert Charles Howard
Above the caldera at Yellowstone,
a brittle soilrock crust
caps a lake of liquid fire
with only fumaroles of acrid steam
and spewing geysers
to slake its upward thrust.
False steps by men or creatures
breach that fragile mantle
plummeting errant ones to
scalding pain or death.
Within us all calderas also roil
brewed of failures, slights and fears -
dissolved in fiery pools
of self-consuming miseries.
Counter to that molten force
we form our culture crust
of forgiveness, love and justice.
With music, art and friendship,
we plant fragrant gardens in our souls
and load our trowels with psychic mortar
to seal the calderas of our discontents.
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