National Poetry Month: Sighs from the Edda Over Iceland

Image by Tanja Schulte from Pixabay

This has been a splendid month. All artwork is used with permission. I’ve tried whenever possible not only to credit the artists whose work I’ve used, but also to donate to them for their work as requested. I thought I’d end by posting an old favorite of mine that I wrote on an international flight many years ago. It was first published in Dreams and Nightmares #67, January 2004, and republished a few times since.

Sighs from the Edda Over Iceland

God drags his knuckles
Over the vast drifts
Pressing his thumbs through
The pallid sheets
Until long splits run for miles.
Without warning,
The white hump of
A great snow whale
Breaks the clouds from below,
Shadowy ridges crisscrossing its back
Encrusted with below-zero barnacles.
And then I wonder…
What if these frost beasts truly
Swam beneath us in sluggish schools
Through milk and mist?
And what if the entire earth was
A puckered moonscape
Of powdered hills and craters?
Iceland conjures the palest sorcery,
A bleak, blissful nothingness
That threatens to turn everything
It touches ivory and alabaster.
So I place my chalky cheek
Against the window, close my eyes
And breathlessly envy the wing.

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