ContentsPutah and Cache: McLaughlin Mine

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Serpentine Haiku

Peter B. Moyle

I.
Under the walnut tree
A rattlesnake crawls away
From serpentine talk.

II.
Serpentine, ophiolite
Make no difference to snakes
Even if they slither.

III.
Black trunked blue oaks
Avoid ultramafic serpentine:
Tree osteoporosis.

IV.
Red and green serpentine
Keep out alien invaders-
Except ORVs.

V.
Prickly dry goat grass
Sinister invader from Greece:
We will rip you out!

VI.
Serpentine ghost pine:
You are not as indifferent
As you lead us to think.

VII.
White flowered tarweed:
Are you a star thistle refugee
Or just indifferent?

VIII.
Are monkey flowers proud
Of their endemic status
Or grow, regardless?

IX.
Serpentine sunflower!
Helianthus exilis!
Glory in exile!

X.
In serpentine seeps
Among hardened tire ruts:
Frogs, snails, and sunflowers!

XI.
Beady-eyed turtle:
I am amazed to find you
Living among seeps.

XII.
Turning over rocks
In a serpentine trickle
I find ancient stoneflies!

XIII.
Tiny purple vineweed
I am sorry I stepped on you:
Life is hard enough.

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