Love the Dark
They have to, at this latitude,
where fire and ice mix with
no uncertainty, in rock and
ash, in rupture and stillness.
Deepening those October nights
with a fire at hand,
flames crackling to dog curls
and deep twitching dreams
of contentment, and runs
across lava, hardened over time.
It’s hard to look into the darkness,
resistance searches for light
in particle and filament, crystals
traveling through air messaged
by the sun. Out there, in the sharp
January night, the siren call
of movement. Wonder fills
the stretch of sky that closes
soft around, giving reason
to face the pitch-black, calling
it our own.
I learned early to follow guideposts—
a milky swath of stars, Van Gogh’s brushstrokes,
expanse of sea, a poet’s willing words –
uncommon landscapes that led to the interior
of self-reflection’s pool.
I saw this in the Moon card, too,
tarot of ancients, my hand willingly turning it
to reveal a crack into an already thawed heart.
The moon’s reflection on a baying wolf,
the path between towers,
the ascent of the crayfish from unconscious waters,
the distant mountains, all illuminating
a landscape that beckoned
Trust yourself, see into the night, do not be afraid
to find the vibrant dream within the nightmare.
I think of that summoning as the bus rolls past
these mossy fields, nothing to stop my eye
but the glacier’s power and volcanic ash,
nothing to stop my words from rising from
crater space and black sand, twisting,
finding form, wafting out to sea. This is what happens
when you let the landscape enter you, when what
looks barren is held accountable,
when a cluster of grass growing in rock
signals the way.
In Iceland They Say
If you don’t pay attention to the weather
you can vanish here, you become one with it
and it captures your breath, every thought,
out to the edge of the world. The light
takes its leave when elsewhere the leaves
are just turning and the summer grasses
are bending to honor the last warm grip. Summer is a balm.
Winter brings its own speeches, hoary winds from the north,
or west, air being better to breathe when it is warm,
not frost. If the need for light could be bred out of you,
I would lie on the lava field, anyway, letting the wind
speak its special language, because no weather
can be said to be bad, and there is comfort
to be found in a maelstrom of snow.