The Idea of Ancestry

Everything changes in Iceland,
Sons walk into the valley of their bones,
Daughters reappear from the hidden land
Wearing necklaces of rain,
Wives run off with giant Icelanders
Who are the world’s strongest men.
You wake in some living dream,
See ghosts in abandoned farmhouses,
See your hair fall, forget place of birth,
Pour over Icelandic atlases
For maps of energy and remote names
That seem familiar from another life.
One more endless night of light.
One more axe blow cracks the ice.
How is it you find yourself
On a Viking ship? Why is it burning?
Who were you? Where are you going?


Between being awake and awake
I found a lost feather by a remote lake.

Between restlessness and rest
Neither visitor nor guest.

Between dreaming and dreams
Icelandic streams.

Between too late and too soon
Drifting bodies in a blue lagoon.

I stared into a blank bay
In a sea trance between day and day.

The sun shone without substance
Like the image of thought.