Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Salt Dome

Salt domes, such as the famous one at Avery Island, are often underlain by deposits of oil or natural gas.

Salt is earth-sweat, condensed and frozen,
slick as ice, and like ice it floats
upward through strata that buckle and split.
Even salt yearns for light.

Under this moon-white dome
a black lake sleeps. Once salt was treasure
and shaped the fate of nations. Now
we burn this sunless sea for heat and light.

This treasure-dome, these caves of ice
and lifeless ocean under ridge
cut deep by cypress-haunted chasm—
was this the dream of Coleridge?
Did Kubla hear ancestral prophecy of war
beneath this mountain, Avery or Abora?

Abyssinian maids and men
toiled in the endless dark to bring
baskets of white salt to light.
Now white men drill here
for black gold.

--suggested by Poefusion's title Salty Moon and Mark Kurlansky's superb book Salt. And, of course, by Coleridge.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside


Michelle Johnson said...

Very interesting poem. I didn't get the chance to see Avery Island while in Louisiana for a week's vacation at 18. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice night.

glowing face man said...

Cool poem, I love Kubla Khan and I'm constantly looking for stuff related to it. Here's my analysis of Coleridge's Kubla Khan btw :)