The Volcanologist (Mr X)
Looming cautious, he peers like a jaguar in a tree,
an addict, on the edge of a big mistake –
mind split, fractured by equal needs to flee
and stay, here with the sacred magma lake,
to gaze, heart aching, on such magnificence,
ever moving, potent beauty and force,
he stares and drowns in true ambivalence,
to leave or join Gaia, to stay the course.
Obsession took its hold from early days –
a younger Mr X devoured all the words he could
on the marvels of earth’s seismic rage displays.
But that was not enough, he understood
his studies heart would need to be insitu,
so travelling far he searched volcanic forms –
those most fiery, not subdued.
This fascination deepened into swarms
of thoughts, so strange, they frightened him, in ways
not clear, but also a calm, they did provide,
a balm to life’s disasters and dull days,
a twisted but faithful beacon to guide.
The earth rumbles, lava blobs and hot spits
sulphur breath into the air, hissing yes,
or was that no, his ears are playing tricks
and his feet move closer, as if to acquiesce,
his face glows in the heat of his adored,
his lips dry and crack in desiccated air,
but his eyes crave more than he’s had before,
never tiring of this burnt burgundy affair.
So he moves in, closer still, skin all but touching
the creature that is this moving lava flow.
Such crushing heat and smells, the flooding
of agony through every synapse – No!
Sheer panic rises in his throat, he turns for flight,
the heat so strong his boots have all but melt,
his shirt melds to his skin, the glaring light.
He runs, goat-like, far from this earth’s death belt.