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.

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.