They dug for jasper up on the hill-
And still might it anyone cared.
A cloudy stone, its colour varies
From dried blood to ocean grey.
The miner’s house has lost a wall.
Also its roof. The door is bolted.
I think that gold is an ugly metal,
Like hard cheese with a deep shine.
I prefer the warmth of copper, the breezy
Shiver of silver. But what makes gold
The thing above all that turns men evil
(Columbus building the Indies into
An early Dachau, or Cortes knocking
The Incas over ) is metaphysical.
Gold seduces us into believing
That when we grasp it we’re grasping time
Because it survives us without developing
Even so much as a bloom on its skin.
Dig a grave through rock?
I think not.
Hence this wall of graves
The breeze comes riffling up the slope
Searching for coins and cartridge cases,
Condoms, buttons and cigarette stubs.
The hawthorns shiver like tambourines.