Reflections from Reykjavik

1 Dark into Light (for Jane)

The airbus funnels dumbly through the grey

grey snow, grey sky, the pewter coloured sea

occasional black outcrops of the land

next day is brilliant, and the wind is keen

father and daughter trudging round the streets

as if the gap of years had never been

and houses which were hidden in the murk

flash out like petticoats from inbetween

in red and peppermint and olive green

The landscape doesn’t seek to praise or blame

but all the same

reminds me that some thirty years ago

I said come out, come out into the sun

and out you came


2   Runes for Leaving (for Boo)

The night before we left the snow did fall

Drifting on roofs and smoothing out the ground

a hazy brightness dancing in the air

utterly still: we saw no-one around.

The houses all stood back to watch us go:

our wheels leaving meander tracks behind,

we crunched down Fjólnisvegur in the snow.

A bend disclosed a family below

Mum, Dad, two kids, the small one on a sledge.

The parents bent, the young boy pulling too,

made runner tracks, and footprints up the hill

which met ours coming down. Briefly, we knew,

these runes would stand, so land could tell the sky

where we had been, where they were going to