Posts Tagged ‘sea floor spreading’

Beneath the floor, under the pine slats
Worn smooth by the grit and movement of daily life,
Far beneath the moist loam that pushes up flowers
After the snow melt and the spring showers,
Beneath the sand banks of an ancient river shore
Lies a deep layer of sandstone, the grains joined
Together by years of cohabitation under heat and pressure,
Moderated only by the silent trickle of dissolved stone,
Dripping, oozing into each unfilled crevice.

Still further down, under the suffocating pressure
of the overlying burden,
Under temperatures rising ever higher,
higher with each meter of descent,
The grains have merged, recrystallized,
reorganized their component atoms,
One of silicon paired with two of oxygen,
into a larger mosaic, forming a twice denser rock,
Solid, strong enough to sustain what lies above,
though the tiny fossil flowers and worms
Have long since been lost, their history and form
dissolved and forgotten in the fiery metamorphic crucible.

We are now fifteen kilometers below
the pine slats of the cabin, below the roots
Of the surrounding meadow grass.
The temperature has risen to eight times the boiling
Point of water; the pressure would crush
the strongest submarine. We descend
Further, towards the core, we feel the upwelling of magma,
rock turned fluid, rising,
Pushing up against the rock above, splitting the plates apart,
spitting fire, spreading the rock
With its fiery force, pushing upward and outward
until the skin of the earth bursts
And a great plume of ash and noxious gas
rises high above the icy island.

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Eruption beneath Eyjafjallajokull glacier2image

previous: arrival in America • next: the other Iceland

Well, things are heating up at home. A volcano beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier erupted around midnight Saturday. The southern coast, where the glacier is located, is beautiful country, even when the earth is splitting open and belching fire. But I prefer a less violent Nature: the sea, the waves lapping against the pebble beach, the wind whispering over the ice …

The eruption reminds me of an imagined legend.  The trolls that live under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier believe that when a man from across the sea comes to our country and is able to pronounce “Eyjafjallajokull” perfectly seven times in rapid succession, the earth will open up and Iceland will return to the waters, never to be seen again. Our language, in the trolls’ view, is part of the national defence system:-)  But against plate tectonics there can be no defence!

Icelandic friction, causes of eruption: a poetic post

A Poem

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