Northern Journey

“A poet is a state of mind.”–Virginia Moore, “Saint Teresa”

There were so many
remote islands
you had passed
scarcely knowing them.

You may, in fact,
have preferred
the sunnier beaches
with crowds of people
to the south,
the slushy sand
and warmer weather.

But your curious boat
sailed on past
the deserted castles
on craggy hills,
the isolated outports
seldom visited
and quite unmapped.

Initially, there were
some islands
long, but thin
with lighthouses,
fishing fleets and
rough lives of men
you could not have
possibly known.

Maybe passing a
distant station on some
remote headland
one ran out to
wave at you,
more in disbelief,
that someone else
had found his sanctum
this far north.

Or, lucky, you may have
seen the wild ponies run
along the beach
of another solitary island,
their freedom strange
along the green waters.

But it was only then
when you entered
the high-cliffed fiords
with their steep water-
falls cascading down
that you first wondered
about home and
the possibility of return.

That cold barrenness
of final outposts,
the last land, with reindeer
champing grass
by a deserted hut.

It was there standing
on the last ledge of land
at the edge of memory
that you found me
at last, as you stood briefly
facing true north,
a moment
with nothing but
limitless sea
whichever way
you chose to turn.


(signature poem)

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