Day 6 – Curlew, Sphagnum Moss, Peat

a spongy carpet;

clusters of green stars

holding water

storing carbon

amongst cotton grass

big rosemary and cranberry.

Curlew, Steng Moss Bog

peatland upland graasland.

blue stockinged long long legs

wading curved bill down.

I miss the air

against my skin

flicking hair impressions.

before they breed

the male bubbles a call

high pitched across the greyish mist.

threatened they skim

mudflats and dig for shrimp.

this closeness to nature

of cream of buff

of feather is like love

being ripped out

from the roots and fashioned

to fit the narrow folds of life,

yet still being golden and wild.

Day 1 – NAPoWriMo – In these troubling times, our way of being comes into sharp focus

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April brings with it the challenge of National Poetry Writing Month. One poem per day for the next 30 days. What better way to kick start my next 100 days of blogging if you take up this challenge. So follow along as for the next 30 days , I’ll be sharing a poem I create, sometimes in response to the prompts posted over here, sometimes from other inspirations. But I’ll be hopefully following the theme of Nature for this body of work.

Day 1 – In these troubling times, our way of being comes into sharp focus

Taking out the rubbish

I’m met by a bully of a bird

on our backyard wall.

 

He doesn’t take his leave.

Indolent, he waiters along the bricks

beady eyeing me.

 

Mum used to say things

must be rough at sea

for seagulls to be so far inland.

 

Today, I don’t think this is the case.

I think people are no longer at sea

forcing these scavengers

 

reliant on the discarded chip

or bit of fish to become urban

into backyards where citizens

 

take their recommended

or is it permitted

daily shot of sun while in lockdown.

 

This seagull surveys the scene.

One foot, two foot, two foot, one.

Head jerking alert, yellow sickle beak,

 

hooking the air with it’s call.

Grey wings once settled now stretched

wide with an inkling to take flight

 

but it decides to stay, close.

Two foot, one foot, one foot two.

A shared landscape it’s always been.

 

Perhaps, now, more obvious

how we all have to adapt

to a new way of being

 

which might have us all eating grass yet.

the last accordion men

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Closed to air plane traffic, cracks in the asphalt house dandelions and buttercups. Radio silence. Zero fumes. Thingeyri airport ceases to welcome travellers.
And yet drop by on a Tuesday night, and you will hear music. The last accordion men in the hanger play as if the traditional dances of Iceland are in full swing still. Grey haired, stooping, hoarse men of age put their arms and fingers and memories through their paces. Their beautiful youth moves through each moaning note. No music is written down. Unless a boy is amongst them this merry-go-round music will die with the last accordion man.

Over the roar of the engines
and the thumbing of the wheels
the wheezing heart of old switches

 

April – A Poem A Day

take me to the huts

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Two columns of huts.
Fish lynched on nails.
Thick flesh dries deep.

Perhaps he brings home a big catch. Much bigger than they could ever eat in a week, this family of five. Perhaps, he hangs up the surplus in his shed. Sliced in two lengthwise, nailed by the tail, or maybe where the head should be, flesh juicy to the sun, while he thinks what to do with so many fish and so few mouths.
Perhaps, in time he forgets about this problem. Only catching a whiff of fish sometimes when the wind blows in from the west. Remembering he needs to sort them out some way or another.
Perhaps, it is his firstborn who ventures in drawn by the smell as well as the cracking like ice sound. Now the fish is dry and hard as rock. Fallen from the nails they crack into many pieces like candy.
Perhaps, this child tastes a piece and falls in love in this moment with dried fish forever. There’s a sweetness and saltiness as it melts in his mouth. He’s dreaming of butter and garlic and smoky paprika and the sea.

 

April – A Poem A Day

Fishing

The worship of fish, for subsistence and profit, declines in response to the fishing quota system. Villages hugging the shoreline struggle with time and the departure of the young. At Thingeyri, out there in the fjords are three massive green nets holding artificially reared super fish. Trout. Not native to the area along with the multinational< company owning them.
One day, a hole is found in one net. How many fish escape, no one knows. How the fish survive in open water, if any, no one knows. If the escapees mate with the other fish, no one knows. It’s not the companies problem. It’s not an issue worth investigation. The hole is mended. The trout continue to be farmed to yield their optimum value. White white flesh to satisfy the foreign customer’s tastes.

red headscarf tied tight
bent and slow
she walks to harbour

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April – A Poem A Day

connection

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the snow is pristine
the water is cold
the silence is rippling

she does not come here to talk. she does not come here to appease. she is here to connect. to the Earth. to the Sea. to Herself. so she does not take kindly to the wide vacant stares that question her presence. she uses the solid rock of the mountains and the copper grasses peaking through the cracks as a special welcome just for her.

 

April – A Poem A Day

Adrift in the Wilderness

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Surrounded by white upon white. Cold biting at all exposed flesh. Eyes search for some familiar sign even though this is my first visit to the Westfjords. Something, anything to anchor the self in place as I float unhinged from all that I know and all that I feel. Fear swims into this pause. Into this solitude. What happens if I don’t like what I find in this time and space alone? What if I don’t like who I am?

on one of lampposts
along the slushy street
a raven grates out kraaa

 

April – A Poem A Day