Death Grin

A poem I wrote whilst walking and researching the Wildfjords trail in summer 2013. Photo by Þorsteinn Másson. 

Death Grin


A sun shelled night save a few nesting terns
That bounce on sharp wings that clutch at the sky
Then fold their sharp wings and aim for my eye
I run to surrender, afraid I might die!



They re-group then remember their task to fly



I’m welcomed like this, Iceland’s summer has peaked
Razorbills, guillemots, puffins replete
An orca lies stranded, though grins in defeat
The sound of a plover whistling plaintive retreat




I too then remember my task in time



I’m here in the Westfjords, Iceland’s oldest rock
To create a new trail that will embody and top
Many wild fjords that then make the drop
To a crushing green ocean that provides for the flock



The trail’s whole distance, or so I am told
Will quadruple the distance of any trail of old
Though the routes to be walked are as ancient as gold
Old pathways of Vikings, their poets and hoards




Now, the path still carries a treasure of gold
Those ancient patterns that strengthen the soul
The black sand beaches on which grows söl
The four horned creatures with lint in their wool




Through time the rivers flow accustomed lines
You’ll find those lines inside your mind
When you visit here, Iceland’s oldest retreat
Hot springs, rainbows, the beat of our feet 




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