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Tuesday’s Poet: Two by Sally Bliumis-Dunn

Lichen on an alley wall: Paris, France. Photo (c) 2010 Richard Beban


Mianus River Gorge

Not just for the fresh air
or to walk together on
this November morning,
our white breath pulsing
in the air. And not just to be
distracted, from ordinary
thoughts of work and worry:
that moss, for instance on
the huge granite rock, which
from up close looks like
a filigreed forest of ferns –
being so tiny we could walk
right through it: soft press of
bare feet, it would have to be
summer, moist green grazing
our calves; or that hawk dipping
from one branch to another;
or simply by the old maples
and oaks, the long gray
irregular bars of their reaching.


For all of these we went
walking, but even more, I think,
for that deer you spotted,
standing in the stream,
its fur coat blending in with
the slow brown water.
We could barely make it out.
Otherworldly, the way
it disappeared from time to time,
and then reappeared, when
it tilted its head, and we could
see the arc of white on its nose,
and for a moment, the glistening
circles of its eyes. And how
still it stood in the water.


River

Imagine standing
on a footbridge above
a river,
the water rushing
over the rocks,
and though the water
is clear,
it is moving
very quickly,
so you cannot
clearly see
the textures
of the rocks.
You cannot see
the shadows,
tiny as heads
of pins, or fine
as arcs of eyelash
on the surface of
the moss,
or the gray lines
of fracture
on the contours
of the quartz;
not the flakes
of silver mica,
or the occasional
feldspar pink,
because the river
though clear
is moving very
quickly.


 
Sally Bliumis-Dunn‘s poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, and Poetry London, among others. Both of these poems are from her first book of poems, Talking Underwater. She offers the Friends this place biography:


The Mianus River Gorge Preserve was established in 1953 to protect an old-growth hemlock forest and receives the special designation as the first Nature Conservancy land project and the first National Natural History Landmark designated by the US Department of the Interior. Today, the Mianus River Gorge Preserve, Inc., is an independent not-for-profit that protects over 750 acres of land and a water supply for over 150,000 people in Connecticut and New York. My husband and I walk along the Mianus River frequently. We often meditate there and it is the place where we first spoke of marrying.


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