Iceland: Dyrhólaey


The morning begins in the small motions of everyday

You stow the bedclothes
pull down the seats
switch on the gas
boil water in a pan
drink coffee

Your pulse is slow
Your head still numb



But then

You open the curtains
to tuya, ice-cap and melt-water
in 360°


On the road to Dyrhólaey

Just down the road, before the rise to Vik, you take a right to Dyrhólaey. You pass Iceland ponies and tufts of yellowed grass. You reach a long causeway, where waters hold the sky; a gap in the cliffs, fingers of sea stacks.

The way climbs then falls to the cliff edge. This is the end of the road – there is nothing more until the tip of northwest Africa.


The world is distilled

You step out to find the world is composed of glass and fire.
You find your partner’s ashen hair is flaming red once more; his Celtic skin translucent.
You look above. The sun is a white hole and the sky a burnt-blue. Below, the cliffs are graffiti sea-sprayed and the black basalt has the glow of dying embers.
Rock pools are liquid gold.


You stop

The world is distilled to
sea and sky and stack.

You stop

And hear
the call of the fulmar;
the fizz of froth and foam.

The sea erupts
Bombs rocks
and gulls

You stop

And shout
but the North Atlantic has swept your words away

You stop

and lick the salt-wounds from your lips
and  swallow the ocean.

Your heart is buffeted
Your blood surges with the swell
Your mind is flung awake
You feel alive.

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