sna poems #118: natural bridge and rockshelter

my friends, the natural bridge and rockshelter sna has exactly that, a formation cut into the sandstone over millions of years and the largest in the state. excavations done here reveal remains and artifacts dating back to ca. 9,000-8,000 bc. (!) it’s a wonder surrounded by upland oak forests and remnant prairie.

we’d visited before (and my wife, mamie, graciously agreed to be in a few shots for scale), but it’s been too long. the rock shelter is 60′ wide and 30′ deep, but it was late in the day and i simply didn’t have the energy for more pictures. next time (again). it was hard to see all the initials and words carved into the bridge’s base; i’m not a stickler for humans not interacting with natural environments that are being preserved, but the degree of defacement is tough.

up and down and up and down, then some tiny virginia waterleaf just starting out.

a.

for ten-thousand years

we’ve lingered*

in this neighborhood

b.

you’ve sprung out the earth

been festooned

with verdant drapery

c.

ridges and pockmarks

triumphant

over wind, sand, oak

  • “we’ve lingered” referring to our species, in no way attempting to erase the 200 years of the settler-colonial project in wisconsin.

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