Icelandic Lava Tubes

Descending into Earth’s belly
we clamber over solidified lava,
misshapen slabs, coarse and sharp.
Crouch. Walk. Crawl in darkness.
Her innards surround us.

Two thousand years have passed
since she belched fire
spewed molten fury
hurled detritus,
encased this land.

Liquid anger flowed and ebbed
cracked in cooling drafts
left behind tunnel pathways,
cold witness to those fury days.

My mouth agape,
body chilled to the bone,
we move through this, her confession,
the scars of a temper once unleashed.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Paul asks us to write a poem from our underground travels. Paul opens Tuesday Poetics at 3 PM Boston time.  Photos: from our recent excursion into the lava fields and extinct volcanoes outside Reykjavik, Iceland. We actually went underground and explored a 2,000 + year old lava tube. That’s me in the purple. Last photo is what the land above the tube looks like — that’s lichen growing on ancient lava fields. Very barren and harsh. Iceland is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries. It has extensive volcanic and geothermal activity (see photos with my one sentence poem entitled Geyser. About 50% of Iceland is mountainous lava desert. Only 1% of their land is cultivated.

Glendalough…

…thy voice speaks to me.

Rolling hills of green
ancient Celtic cross
sixth century monastic ruins.

Paths echo medieval prayer
parlay murmurs of buried souls
stones tipped and etched by time.

I tread lightly through hallowed ground
savor the quiet of this place.
Glendalough, thou art a soothing song.





Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Mish prompts us to write of an abstract thing (I chose serenity) using sensory description. Photos: Glendalough, Ireland, the valley of the two lakes renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded by St Kevin in the 6th century. We opted for an excursion that took us into the countryside, outside of Dublin, rather than a city or pub tour. This is a truly beautiful and mystical place.

Geyser…

…belly full,
earth spews steam
in unseemly belch.


Photos from outside Reykjavik, Iceland. There are 300 volcanoes in Iceland. 50% of Iceland’s landmass is mountainous lava desert. The famous Blue Lagoon is in the midst of lava fields with waters heated by the natural geothermal heat “beneath the earth.”  These photos show the steam belching from the earth. In some places, large geysers shoot up. Iceland collects this geothermal energy and uses a system of pipes below streets in Reykjavik to keep streets from icing over and they also provide heat and electricity to homes in Iceland. Absolutely amazing to see.

Traveler’s Guide

Sow seeds of beauty as you travel earth.
Mirror the sun.
Shine kindness upon frozen souls,
splash colors brightly.
Climb as the ivy does,
each dawn higher,
each morn basking in hope.




Written for dVerse where Björn hosts, asking us to write about soil/earth. Photos: Norwegian fjords; gardens in Blarney Village (Ireland); house in Kinsale, Ireland; dawn from the deck of our cruise ship on our way to Dublin. Final photo taken in midst of Norwegian fjords fascinates me — note the shadow of mountains on the mountain — looks like a face!

Lysefjord

Echos of light reflect rugged beauty.
Silent walls of rock carved by glaciers,
mirror themselves in ancient seas.

We sail, necks craned,
staring, gaping in awe.

Awareness dawns
in setting sun.

We are but specks
on the scales of time.

       

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where Monday’s quadrille (4o word poem, no more no less) prompt is to include the word echo within our poem. Photos from recent Norwegian Fjords cruise. 

Norwegian Fjords

Frosted in snow
gouged by ridges and crevasses
steep sentinels of time.

Tall giants anchored deep in sea
warmed by kinder sun as days extend,
they shed their winter cloak
rushing waterfalls from heights on high.

Simple homesteads perch on ledges
steep paths above cold waters.
Historical remnants,
they housed rugged folk.
Those who dared to live and love
within the soul of Norway’s fjords.



Photos while in Geirangerfjord, Norway. Absolutely stunning to see! 

Edvard Grieg

Concertos orchestrate dawn to dusk,
etudes study dancing shadows.
Sonatinas spring wildflowers,
octaves ripple cross the lake.

Confident fingers crescendo,
crossing ivory and ebony.
Norwegian master of the keys
and lover of the land.

Photos taken in Bergen, Norway as we visited the lake home and composition hut of Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg. Bergen averages 280+ day of rain a year. We had incredibly beautiful weather! 

Pickpocket

Like a feral cat slinking through shadows
the nondescript waif seeks his prey,
crosses to busy street, jostles crowds.
Nudge and dip. Nudge and dip.
The two-step pick-a-pocket waltz.

Wallet trashed, enters corner butcher shop
whistling a tricky tune.
Sustenance savored, emerges,
mustard rivulets on chin and wrist.
Sits on bench, licks fingers and smiles.

Yellow eyed languid cat prowls neath boy,
rubs against too short pant legs.
Drops half-eaten rodent on littered ground
curls inward atop boy’s left foot
and basks in sun.


Photos taken yesterday in Lisbon – older men in neighborhood; graffiti on city wall. Beautiful city! Lisbon, Portugal dates back to the 6th century. 

And the Waters Live

Ghost riders no longer hover.
Train tracks dismantled long ago
phantom posts reveal their route. 

I did not mind their crossing,
if they could have glided silently
like parrot fish within my realms
or shape shifter clouds above.

It was the daily clatter,
metal wheels on transom
wide-open window chatter
reverberating rumbles.

I much prefer the quiet.
Hikers who gaze,
mesmerized by lapping waters,
sun glisten upon my face.

Occasional thunderstorms
pelt rain upon my scenic demeanor.
Rarer still, they apologize
reflecting rainbow arcs in smiles.


Posted for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Mish asks us to “give nature a voice.” Photo from Bermuda — along the Old Railway Trail. The Bermuda Railway operated from October 1931 until May, 1948. The hiking trail stops and starts on various parts of the islands that make up Bermuda — with ruins of stations, trestles, and roadcuts. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Stop on by!