Sierra Nevada: Volcanic Arc, Inactive Subduction Zone

Through magma chambers cooled I walk
over Jurassic stone, batholith, granite
that rose—may have—

plutons from underground
formed 200 million years ago

to be eroded now, into peaks,
sliding plates done, tectonics at rest
(that once pushed)

delamination perhaps,
of batholith losing its base—eclogite
holding keel down for heaviness

the mountains, the range,

land to the east
dropping away

I am roaming with history
by volcano’s opening
to explosions that blew

laccoliths into distance
rounding the sharpnesses
I feel—

stocks and dikes of rising, striving
to hold their place—
find their escape in surfacing

to breathe
their solidness
from fires reaching
above what is
the mantle.


Lynne Goldsmith is an award-winning poet who has been published in All-Creatures.OrgInteralia Magazine, Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Not Very Quiet, Plants & Poetry Journal, Red Planet Magazine, Spillway, Thimble Literary Magazine, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, and elsewhere. Her first book, Secondary Cicatrices, won the 2018 Halcyon Poetry Prize and was a 2019 Finalist in the American Book Fest Awards, a 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Award Gold Winner, a 2020 International Book Award Finalist, a 2021 Book Excellence Award Finalist, and a 2021 Distinguished Favorite in the Independent Press Awards.