Lithic: Poem and Photographs by Miriam Sagan

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Lithic

stone wood

I come across a barn in the field
the sculptor
is building the tenth version
of shale and stump
all the rest have collapsed…

it is all about the balance

wood can petrify but stone cannot grow

boulder pulverized to pebble

schist colored with ferric oxide
and floating bones with teeth
fossilized

new mountains from old rock
domed
dolmen
cirques and horns

like gravestone
or what can be
quarried
from the glacial erratic

shale that breaks along parallel points, fissility
composed of mud, quartz, calcite

a covered bridge
a caul, a veil, purdah

a pocketless shroud
without knots
or buttons

how death is public, a final
resting place
Puritans with their unadorned
death heads
a burying ground
not next to any church

a cairn can mark a trail

record a visit
to memorialize a spot

this earth is metamorphic
for what is not?

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Poem inspired by the gallery show GROWTH UNDER PRESSURE, Salem Art Works, NY July, 2014.

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