Colorado Diamond

If geological time is
                          time times time,
we have mined it
the continent's fifth largest diamond.

Just 45 miles north of the state line:
kimberlite field & fire.

            I feel, I guess, as Niedecker did
            conflicted. There must be some
            evidence in the pressure
            that makes clear
            the heart
            as it is
            to a place in which
            it beats consistently even
            if only briefly:                                              today it snowed

& thundered
for approximately
seven minutes & I
knew then: I
must register
quick shifts:
flies born
& dying
clouds low-hanging
& seedlings
that may
long after me
become trees
able to breathe
what we've

Turns out:
poems of pressure & doubt
made long & deep
ago are still being made
still: miles, ages, & feet
above ground.

Turns out:
there are longer, larger
transformations of which
I won't
be here
to speak.


A little fleet
of seed

makes space
where the day's

chatter cannot

I do not want

though it is hard
to remember

in this time of gathering
what's unneeded

or unceded, all
that lays heavy

on the earth,
the ocean, the streams

beg it be taken away
in a sheath

so we can see it

but by whom
and to where

I will take with me
the emptiness of my hands

useful again
my trees are yellowing

like bees who make
what they need

to live and eat
and sweet

is the surplus
for those of us

whose hands are not full
of folly

Keeping Council

This is time on the trail I have not
been or had

behind me, or in front of me,
for that matter.

I'm by the little canal
opened wide

so that farmers
can water

in the high

I have wanted to write,
It's moving past

its appearing
its disappearing.

I've crossed it
out now

I cannot

climb that hill
with the little cemetery

and not stop
to see who died

and when
or who was beloved

and who

This is how I live
up here, and others

simply do otherwise.
Or maybe

I do, too maybe
I strive

to surrender
under the weight

of where I walk

Sasha Steensen (she/her) is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Everything Awake (Shearsman Press) and Well (Parlor Press), as well as an ongoing multi-media project entitled Overland: An Incomplete History of Three Acres and All that Surrounds ( She is a Stern Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University where she teaches and serves as a poetry editor for Colorado Review. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, two daughters, and a whole host of animals.