How I wound up in the Faroe Islands, I’ll never tell.

Havn

From pavement to gravel, then moss, then stone
in tennis shoes not hiking boots
not ideal, but good enough
away from the village–onward and up

Where grass grows thick in thrown green stalks
and tossed by winds that never stop
to breathe and feel it’s breath are one
–I remove my jacket and pretend to like the cold

Trying to know what cannot be known
something of this life at the edge of the world
Where god is welcome, but remains a guest
among more warlike rivals and less arid myths.

On the left, almost halfway, a gang of gazing, grazing sheep
at long last one takes my offered blades of grass
with dirty coats, wild eyes, and innocent faces
all sheep are dumb, but at least some are brave.

Next a field of scattered, random stones
bigger than men and older than old
axe-blades unruly warring Titans dropped
or ancient Nordic frogs who froze before they hopped.

And then, too soon, it is the end
just a speck on a speck and catching my breath
down from here, no more to climb
I want to keep going, but there is nothing left but sky.

[2006]
M.J.S.

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