Photo by Blackland, 2014
The land-shaper here is always water, whether we’re in drought or not. Paths are scoured, or washed away when it steps down from the sky. We’re too far from an ocean for any maritime god to lay a claim—when land’s reshaped around us, it’s the sky god flinging his shovels of rain who does it. Even a seep can become a crow-bar in winter, jimmying ice-blades between layers of lime and chert, cleaving them into sharp brittle flakes, some with the bones of past seas showing, some mute, too shy to speak, but dense and siliceous, a knapper’s delight. Further along: flint nodules washed out from an undercut ledge, steel-gray, fine-grained. They’ve been tumbled one against the other at each flood until their conchoidal fractures lost every serrated edge; now they drift to sleep, dream of rain falling on their gravel bed.