Tuesday, August 15, 2017

an edge

Iceland Anew

we are so far north
that the land herself here seems new,
for glaciers mostly covered it all till 10,000 years ago,
then, as they melted into retreat,
the sea came in to swallow most of the island,
till the lighter land slowly bobbed back up
into roughly the island we know as Iceland now,
plants and birds found it, of the larger mammals, only the Arctic fox,
then a bit over a millennium ago, humans found it,
and Nordic folks, farmers and fishermen, made it home,

the story of humans here less than in North America,
the land newer, and more forgiving than in many places,
since we haven’t yet had the time and numbers
to use up so much as we have in Africa, Europe, and Asia,

the Vikings seem like the Polynesians to me,
a sea-faring folks, with an edge 
to their personality and weapons.

by Henry H. Walker

August 6, ‘17

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