Lithic: Poem and Photographs by Miriam Sagan






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

new mountains from old rock
cirques and horns

like gravestone
or what can be
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?



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

Preview Icelandic E-Book: Photograph by Isabel Winson-Sagan and Poem by Miriam Sagan


Swimming in Reykjavik

I traveled a long way
to sit and knit in bed
beneath a white comforter.

raindrops on the window
obscured the red corrugated roof
the dark blue facade
trimmed in burgundy.

light of the north
filled the art deco hall
that houses
enormous swimming pools.

dreamlike, we were almost alone
except for the bossy attendant
and a lifeguard
giving a small boy
a swimming lesson.

on the roof, a violent wind–
hot water rushing
down the staircase
warmed our feet
and a man with a hairy back
soaked in a hot pot Celsius.

the knitting yarn was gayly
green and orange
not from Icelandic sheep–
let’s be honest–
but from Hobby Lobby
at home.

each stitch made meaning
out of the whitecaps on the harbor,
showed how the sea
makes a pass at the land
like a too bold
pick-up in a bar.

you were still sleeping
in a nap
that trailed all the way
from North America.
I traveled a long way
to have you look
like a child again
and ask me for an apple.

Here’s the link to Amazon Kindle for SWIMMING TO REYKJAVIK