There Are A Thousand Ways

There Are A Thousand Ways, by PHILIP ALPHONSE RIZZO, published in Spillway number 6, 1997

I long for the earth
Honor dirt in fingernails
soil that blows into corners

Thank the dust
clarioned from the stars
impacts the tundra
that feed caribou

Bless ancestral ashes
that make roses bloom
Praise Sahara dunes
the droppings of camels
and horses

Give reverence to
warm grays ochres siennas
the burnt umber
that roots the pine
in Sedona

I love the black humus
that sticks to Italian names
hugs celery
around Rome and Utica

Kneel and kiss bricks
fired to propagate courtyards
Massage glazing pots
hungering for marigolds

Prostrate myself before loam
holy blend that substrates
corn and wheat and soy beans
in Iowa and Nebraska
gives artichokes to salads
grapes to wind in California

Wash not my hands too well
after digging in the garden

Am not harsh with what we were
or shall become