Gold is many things because we've made it so.
Heavy's the main thing it is, though.
If you'd find it by the river then,
the main imperative is to get low.
Find bedrock, which is the top
of something semi-permanent
that the river hasn't yet moved.
Find holes and crevices. Stop.
Get to the bottom of them. If
there's gold, there's where the gold
will be, along with lead, black sand,
and such. You won't hold it in your hand
'til after you've rinsed away what's
lighter in your pan, and even then
you may get only flecks. This has
never gone without saying: there
will never be enough of gold to
satisfy or even feed you because
whatever forces made gold,
made it rare. Gold's not fair.
It is of another scheme, a geologic
farce in which stars spit planets
like sunflower seeds and infinity
isn't amused. Lord knows gold glows--
but dully. It rarely shines. It hates
to move, wants to be left alone. It's
soft, hard to get, harder to hold. Sometimes
it's welded in a vein to quartz. We call that ore.
Copyright 2010 Hans Ostrom