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By Erin Schneider



Out of bedrock, I catch a glimpse of its Spirit flit and light up the sandstone,

Points of minerals scintillate under a soapstone sky.


Out of sediment, I admire the heft

that only water on rock can interpret.

Its body taking shape, flows in the veins,

of a century old oak root.

It treads light, not yet hardened,

So begins the outcrop of a creative life.



And now you are of the ground traversing

Boulder fields where maples and masonry

anchor eternity.

Somewhere, a cave

where isotopes reveal the jut of your rocky existence

I try to make sense of this russet decay.



I bent sky-ways

diving in with the intimacy of eroding stardust,

So others may climb, perch and dance,

Play with point of view,

see the scene by scene

And surface amongst deposits of change.​​


Now, titled in prayer, humbled by the river

Its ooze and outwash outstretched like alms, circle

and unspool sediments of a remnant sea.


I enter Its cool body, deposit prayers in passing

to the unidentified skulls and femurs

scattered along the trail.

I feel their last frost-filled breaths,

imagine a bridge for bones to merge

with the stratum of the stream.


With no tide to rest such weary words,

I pray for life’s continuity.

Give me a sign, a vein to interpret, the weathering of it all.


A fish jumps, catches a water boatman under a mackerel sky.

It’s a good day to sail

I pray for an animal way of death.



And holy hot damn the river is suddenly something different

She wears its rivulets of wet satin, awash in the intimacy

of the eternal. Her veins, change to

feed roots, polish rocks, carve caves, move arrowheads,

keep vigil for the boneyards of trees caught unaware.


Oh how she loves the splash and release

The making of curves, the bending of boulders,

the warmth of being captured in moss.


She hears the whisper of leaves

float their secrets to the sea.

She deciphers the calls of nuthatches

reflects on their read of the sky.


This precious light, the brix of sun, enough-ness.

She could answer all the eddies in the backwaters,

missed the beavers companionship,

Damn, how it could house strangers, bring life to the party.


She would need to go underground and perch before springs

surface at the base of bluffs, always the bluffs,

for a point of view and a chance to risk exposure,


All things I wished to be

Bless this power to move with Earth.

Photos by Mark Hirsch

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