The Norwegian Fjiords

Sit with me, bundled up, in cold crisp air.
This aft cabin deck, sailing through fjiords,
the widest aperture to wonder we will see.

The long gaze observes staggering beauty.
Craning to look up provides a granular view,
landscape etched and carved by glaciers.

Snow capped mountains glisten before us,
pearlescent as sunlight touches peaks
grey and darker grey where shadows impede.

Below wintry remnants yet to melt
earthen tones dotted by green patches
compliment the scene.

Not content with singular grandeur,
mirrored reflections ripple,
swaying colors float on ocean’s blue.

Off ship, we explore Geiranger.
Van slowly chugs up hairpin turns
until road stops where winter has not.

Our ship sits far far below us
like a monopoly or lego piece
set in a mural of wondrous beauty.

We simply stare in awe
in profound silence,
and we understand.

We are but a few breaths
in the life of this earth.
She is the grandeur eternal.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. I’m host for today’s Tuesday Poetics.

I have a second poem written today for Toads, with a wonderful video from our walk to day. You may want to check it out as well!

Given that so many people are sheltering at home during these challenging days, and almost everyone has cancelled recent travel plans, I thought it might be fun for dVerse folks to offer a travelogue of sorts….take you places while you’re sitting at home.

So the prompt is this: the title of the poem must be like a pin in a map: that is a place. The body of the poem must take us there with its words and imagery. I’ve also asked folks to post photos of the place, if that’s possible. Given that dVerse poets are from across the globe, literally, I think you’ll have a grand time reading our poetics today. Pub opens at 3 pm Boston time.

Photos from our 2017 trip to the Norwegian Fjiords. 

Haibun for Geiranger

Floating on a massive cruise ship, some days with ocean on every side as far as the eye can see, I am reminded that about seventy-one percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered. The ocean makes up about ninety-six percent of that. I am one person among two-thousand-plus, traversing just a portion of these waters on this day, in this place.

Docked in Geiranger, Norway, the fjord rises up around us. We rest at the feet of Mother Earth. Her shawl of earthen tones and greenery spills out from the sea. Her pearlescent snow capped peaks rise far into the sky. Off ship, we feel very very small. A motor coach takes us up a winding road; so steep the bus seems angled in a partial recline position. We stop where snow makes further progress impossible. Spring melt has just begun. Stepping out into fresh, clear, crisp air, we look out and down. Our ship is dwarfed by the mountains. While the ocean occupies more surface space, landmass leads in terms of relief, colors, and grandeur. I stand, a speck amongst generations who have lived before me and those who will live after me, absolutely mesmerized.

winter’s snow-capped peaks
deter footsteps upon the pristine
Seven Sisters wait patiently

IMG_4120

Bjorn hosts Haibun Monday at dVerse today, asking us to write about water. In homage to Bjorn’s Scandinavian roots,  I’m writing about our cruise through the Norwegian fjords. The Seven Sisters are magnificent famous falls in the UNESCO-protected Geiranger fjord. Alas, since the spring melt was just beginning when we were there, five were dry and two were quite small in output. They need the full spring melt to achieve their grandeur.  Photos taken in this magnificent place. The sun was shifting as we were there. Just a gorgeous day!

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!

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!