to watch a skilled chef
who knows the chemistry
to watch him or her mix
then taste, savoring, thinking
a little bit of this, a little bit of that
With soil,
we dig a trench to see
the profile, from top to deep
we slice a sample
a core
then head to a laboratory
Test for balance
acid/alkaline, neutral?
phosphorus, potassium
and a scattering of others
and then we can create a prescription:
Needs this much of that
this much of that
and so on
The mix is bought and scattered
and then we test again
and again
and again
all the while looking, watching
how the plants are doing
Sort of ‘stick out your tounge and say ‘ahhh”
There must be something more
slipping away unnoticed, unmeasured
We need to study this more
By and by we find bacteria
Not one, but a million!
Little critturs banging around
spewing out compounds, chemicals
in response to what they encounter
Wow! We find
a whole huge world we’re walking on!
What we’ve been calling ‘dirt’
is fascinating!  Complex! Amazing!

So it becomes ‘soil’
spoken with respect
and ‘dirt’ is said no more.
It seems that, sometime earlier,
soil was sculpted
in a distinct and orderly way
There must have been
a soil chef
who put this mix together
Who could have shaped
and breathed into
gave life to
yet another dimension
for us to discover
“O Lord, my God,
when I in awesome wonder
consider all
the worlds thy hands have made…’*
Lin 10/2013
*”How Great Thou Art”, Stuart K. Hine, 1953