sunnudagur, desember 20, 2009

í fjösinu

Little, shaggy, and about six of them, all milling about. Actually little, even á íslenskum mælikvarða, with heads no higher than mine. It was warm inside, as you'd expect.

föstudagur, desember 11, 2009


It's freezing out -- not the adjective but the present progressive. The fallen leaves at the edges of the road are getting rimey, hoary, paperish. If only I rise early enough tomorrow, I will have the pleasure of crunching them underfoot like a colossus bent on long-prophesied destruction, like a vintner squeezing from his crop the juice of a winter wine.

If I feel guilt afterwards, I will make a note to pour a libation on the roots of the maple on the windward side of the house.

þriðjudagur, desember 08, 2009

hvítt, svart

It's a matter of practicality: You ice the white halves first, or a little more than half, because the dark half should overlap. Ice them first and then take the remaining icing back to the boiler and pop the chocolate in. (You see now the practical aspect, yes?) Put in some cocoa, too; that makes it even darker. Go back and ice the other halves. Let them overlap just a bit. Let it set. Seal them in a box so the mice don't get at them in the middle of the night.

Sleep. Even with the curtains open, you will not be troubled by the moonlight. It is waning from full.

Wake to find snow falling on the streets, white on black.

sunnudagur, nóvember 29, 2009


Standing there (and a little later, lying on our bellies to peer over) it became clear that Niflheimr, that realm of mists, is not below us but north (as are many other strange places), and that sometimes it may creep a little southward, even in daylight.

mánudagur, nóvember 23, 2009


fimmtudagur, nóvember 19, 2009


The heavy door of the inevitable swings on it, the anything but unforeseen event, and all afterwards arcs towards you, nothing in its way able to offer resistance. That is the way it is.


I'm talking on the phone when it gutters finally out, but that's alright. I saw it go.

þriðjudagur, nóvember 17, 2009


I hadn't meant to be awake, but I was. This to no avail, though: no sky for the dingy clouds.

I always thought of the Perseids as mine. We'd lie on the blanket on the sand and stare up, hopeful. It was August and cold from ocean wind. (Daytime was hot, nevertheless, and full of scrub forest blueberries.) Sometimes we saw a few streaks and flashes, moving pinpricks. I remember being impatient and chilly and grumbling internally that I seemed never to have been looking in the right direction, always hearing the Oh! a split second too late. But sometimes even I saw them, zooming wing-shod near the zenith.

The Leonids have been yours for years now. There were clouds here and the gray-mauve light of the downtown besides. Perhaps I was merely looking in the wrong direction and too late. On Suðurnes they saw it three days ago, so bright they thought it must be something much greater than a falling star.


People furrow their brows and correct me, but it is a good word and not unattested (ekki ódæmt) in the old language. I see no reason not to use it. Fádæmt is fair enough, and eindæmt. I have seen it rendered as unexampled, which is perfect. It, too, is not a word that strikes the English speaker's ear without announcing its own archaism. What to do with such words? Give them up (at least in public) to sound more like the living natives or enjoy their contours but sound hopelessly twee? Tveir kostir og hvorki góður.

sunnudagur, nóvember 15, 2009


Raw red lentils in a green-glazed bowl. This is one of the transient pleasures of mouse-proofing the ground-floor cabinets. Everything that might, even through crinkly plastic, attract the attention of the little nibblers must be re-stored in tooth-defying glass. Beans, grain, flour, raisins, linguini. Everything sifted out of its original packaging (all the boxes flattened and stacked and slid into one of the brown grocery bags that originally bore them home) and put into jam jars, pickle jars, mustard jars, tomato sauce jars. Red lentils now in the bowl, now pouring them into the former habitation of long-gone sauerkraut. Put them by the chickpeas, barley, black beans, orzo. Shut the doors. Imagine the mice returning after midnight to find a museum of food, all the exhibits safe behind glass.

mánudagur, nóvember 09, 2009

tristes arctiques

They say we've moved on from his ideas (which we I am not sure, but people keep implying to me that it should include me), but I still find that meanings arise most in the interstices, the gaps between pairs of things we thought we knew.

I heard his voice on the radio a year ago while I clattered the tools of culture against each other in the kitchen and brought my savage raw potatoes to a boil on the stove: He was saying something about no longer being so fond of the world. Perhaps the next one will provide fresh (yet delicately prepared) food for new thoughts.

miðvikudagur, október 28, 2009


And then, suddenly, it is all yellow. Two cold nights, and there is not patch of black macadam to be seen. Two hours of wet wind, and the string of cars along the curb are magnificently decoupaged.

miðvikudagur, október 14, 2009


Mouse! I think a mouse. It was moving very quickly from out the heap of recyclables across the cheap tiles and through the absurdly large gap in the baseboard under the sink. (Thence, doubtless, down the pipes in the wall to the basement, but that was out of my sight.) A trap is procured - a humane one.

I learned somewhere, however, that releasing these little animals in the wild is not more humane than killing them at home. They are house mice, not field mice, and they have no way to feed themselves out in the grasses and ground cover. My house is their wild. The best I could do would be to release one in someone else's house, the neighbors' perhaps. But no - they have a cat. What to do?

This is all premature. The mouse is, as yet, at liberty in his preferred habitat.

laugardagur, september 12, 2009


Not near so terrible a chasm as the one through which Jökulsá crashes over Dettifoss, though holding no less mighty a flood. On a clear day, you could lean out over the water and look left and south and just see them. On that day, you could see the smoke.

föstudagur, september 11, 2009


Það er hræðilegt orð.
Nei, það er stórskemmtilegt orð!

Nei, það er hræðilegt. Karlmaður sem notar slíkt orð er hræðilegur.

Vísst er karlmenn sem nota það karlrembur og algörir skíthælir, en orðið sjálft er með þeim skemmtilegstu í málinu.


Kviðmágur is a terribly clever word if you like that sort of thing. It is a way of referring in a comradely way to those who have lain with the same woman you have, as if they were, by the mere act of doing so, comrades. I like that sort of thing if what you mean by that sort of thing is clever words, but that is not what I mean. It is a word for men who, unable to feel real affinity with women, do all they can to claim kinship with each other -- and they can have it, for I claim no kinship with them.

But how much kinship can I deny having with those many others who love what I love? So many have loved the North, and so many of them have been hateful. Even W. H. Auden, who laughed at the Nazis abroad in their mythologized Eisland, at home wrote of seams of lead vanishing down into the Jew Limestone. One shouldn't take offense: that is just what it is called, like the Whin Sill Limestone, the Tynebottom Limestone, and the rest -- all of them merely names. But kviðmágur is just a word, too, and (you might say) there is no other way to call that relation.

Oh, but, still ... shouldn't a poet be able to come up with something?

föstudagur, september 04, 2009


Most of these were new to me:


miðvikudagur, september 02, 2009


Septectomy is a resection of the nasal septum, but it sounds like a procedure to remove a seven. The question remains as to why such an operation might be required. Is the goal to be left with sixes alone?


Seas, champions, stars, sisters, wonders, sleepers, leagues, hills, heavens, years. Sons, too, but one never hears about sons one through six.

mánudagur, ágúst 24, 2009

á ferðinni

Three coins gets you three minutes of machine-pumped air. A little sign says so, both in English and Spanish. For the spent metal tube of testosterone creme lying in the grass above the curb there is no explanation forthcoming.

laugardagur, ágúst 01, 2009



fimmtudagur, júlí 30, 2009


Dreams dream you, here, and there is nothing you can do about it. Don't fight it. You'll wake up in the dark (as much as there is summer dark here, and there is not much) or in the day. If you wake in between, you might catch the sky still blushing a little too.

miðvikudagur, júlí 22, 2009


Salve et vale!

Slingshot around the horn, around the barren beaches under the glacier, around the long end of the pond where the angry terns dive, and gone again. That stake is well driven down into the rock, though. The rope creaks, but the knot holds to the ring (could it be otherwise?), the ring squeaks on the pivot, and the line will sweep back.

Vale et salve!

mánudagur, júlí 20, 2009


A waghalter was a gallows bird, but the bird called wagtail has nothing to do with the noose. Here she is maríuerla. Erla is a bird name and always has been (though now it is a woman's name too, like lóa). The cognate in German means heron. Why she also has the name of the Virgin is anyone's guess, the little flirt.

miðvikudagur, júlí 15, 2009

á flakki

Nú renna öll vötn í Gígjukvísl. Vertu blessuð, Skeiðará.

mánudagur, júlí 13, 2009


They bear them out of their sleeping places and lay them down in cradles. They lie on their backs with the skin against carefully arranged gray foam. We wake them gently, open them, peer down into their faces and try to read their expressions. Sleepy and generous, they let us turn their pages without complaint.

föstudagur, júlí 10, 2009

snemma á fætur

I have to admire the skógarþröstur I passed this morning on my way to work. He held a truly impressive collection of worms in his (her?) beak. He eyed me with a look of accomplishment from the hedge before going on his way.

I was coming in later than usual (though not shockingly so) after a later-than-usual night among musicians at a pub, tapping my foot to a beat that sent the pint glasses marching inexorably over the table edges. I don't regret it. But I see today that it pays to rise early with a proverb already in mind.

fimmtudagur, júlí 09, 2009

helst í fréttunum er

Noon news comes on, not only in the break room but in offices lining the hall. On my way to the coatroom I see the inhabitants hunched over by their radios. What latest financial catastrophe has taken place? It looks like every movie about the London Blitz I've ever seen. After a raid, everyone by their radios: Where did the bombs fall? Is Camden Town still standing? Do you know someone there, or did you?

The headlines in the daily paper are the same. In the spaces afforded by the pictures, someone has frantically scribbled some figures, trying to grasp the extent of the damage.

miðvikudagur, júlí 08, 2009



þriðjudagur, júlí 07, 2009


Mig dreymir þá, ljósa og silkirómaða.

sunnudagur, júlí 05, 2009

27 + 36 = 22

Mikið afskaplega er það gaman.

" ... close your eyes, clear your heart ... "

Mikið afskaplega er ég vonlaus í því.

Rrrrreyndu að fylgja - !

Hann brosir alla vega, og við hlæjum. Kannski ef ég tel - einn, tveir - en þar fór það. Byrjum upp á nýtt, þá.

" ... and it's really not okay, no it's really not okay ... "

Kryssa ... kryssa!


laugardagur, júlí 04, 2009


Shifting from Times New Roman to Palatino Linotype (for which I bear great affection), all my ǫ's vanish and in their stead appear hundreds of curious-looking black birds. They are almost too sweet to get rid of. Maybe if I shoo them away they will perch on the desk lamp instead.

þriðjudagur, júní 30, 2009


Probably calcite. Probably in basalt that's been cooked green under the earth. Probably that.

These are tiny crystals. They barely pick up the light, never mind bend it double. In a large piece, one ray reaches your eye later than the other. Not that you'd notice that. You only know that you're seeing a double image. But one image is further back in time than the other.

When were you last on this beach? Was the air so still like this? You think you remember wind. There was always wind then. It tossed your hair; it tossed his. Black and straw; hraun and shell sand. Probably that's how it was, yes.

mánudagur, júní 29, 2009


Black instant coffee. In this case, decaffeinated. Not particularly good. It never is. But it reminds you, inevitably, of that little jester of a painter. He was always ready with a plastic kettle and mugs from Ikea (say it: eee-KAY-ah, and get the tones right) and a couple of teaspoons from out the economy-sized plastic jug of the stuff. Stir it up. Did he take milk? I think so. I am sad not to remember. It would be appropriate. Mix in the white to the pigment, give it some body and opacity.

sunnudagur, júní 28, 2009


It's not a drumhead-tight feeling, taut hide pulled thin over the frame. Þynkan is to do with thinness, I think. I sympathize with the notion but do not recognize it. For me it might rather be the cords under the drum, the snare. It gets wrapped around my feet and I go down in a heap.

laugardagur, júní 27, 2009


Smell is the most powerful memory trigger, they say:
handsoap from Euroshop
Früctis balsam
instant mashed potatoes
moist laundry
curry, curry, curry

fimmtudagur, júní 25, 2009


Did I tell you about the steinbítr? I didn't, did I. Wolffish. Seacat. Anarhichas lupus. Scarborough Woof.

I found the dessicated head of a steinbítur among the corpse-whelks and weed on an olivine and pyroxene beach. There are always interesting things in the weed. What did Sappho say? If you are squeamish, don't poke the beach rubble. Something like that. Once I found the perfect skull of a seabird. I set in on my balcony to dry, but the wind took it away. Even a dead bird flies here.

I carried the head back down the beach. The bergfræðingur, patient with questions, points to its grim teeth. Here and here, for picking its food from the bottom. Here, to crush the shells of mollusks, bolt them whole.

miðvikudagur, júní 24, 2009


We did not drink from the chalice, but we were told about it. It is older than the first settlements here.
Þessi er heilagur. Ég veit ekki hvort þú sért næm (and here he places my hand near it), en þessi er heilagur.

And a thin slice of shark meat, white as snow, laid on the tongue with a knife.

sunnudagur, júní 21, 2009


Ferleg kjúklingalykt í stigaganginum í morgun. Steiktur kjúklingur með raspi.

Þegar fólk býr þétt safnast ýmiskonar eldhúsilmar á ýmsum stöðum í húsinu og hver og einn segir sína sögu um matarvanir fjöldskyldanna. Í sumum blokkum búa einungis rammislenskt fólk: ýsulykt, pönnukakalykt, laufabrauðslykt, lambalærislykt og á Þórláksmessu skötulykt. Í öðrum búa nýbúar meðal þeirra gömlu og lykin ber með sér vott um sóju, karrí, allskonar framandi. Það er gott. Það er fjölbreytari. Maður vill ekki búa í fuglaberg með sama lyktina í nesborunum alla daga: sandsíli, sandsíli, sandsíli, sandsíli.

föstudagur, júní 19, 2009


Foolish with laughter and merrier than she has been in full tumbler of years, finnur hún á sér ferfalt skot. Fourfold infatuation is a solid four shots down the gullet: brennivín, Tópas, Opal, og svo aftur brennivín. Skemmtilegt. Movie dialogue wafts through her head: "You fool! Never mix your drinks!" Tja. The mix of languages alone makes the fjallahringur spin around her like badly warped vinyl, and the northern summer will make a fool of her every time, regardless.

Þú ert að flissa, segir ársins holdgervingur Fróns lágum rómi. Vertu góður drengur og haltu kjafti, segir hún. (Fokk, segir hún líka.) Ég skal ekki segja neinum, segir hann. Gott, segir hún, ströng á svip. En hún heldur ekki út og flissar eins og fífl.

mánudagur, júní 15, 2009


Líkamsárás - Skaðabætur
Hverskonar er þetta? Svoleiðis er auglýst fyrir utan lauginni þessa daga.

Ég hefði átt að segja fuglinum sem ég sá á göngustéttinni í morgun, en ég held ekki að hann lifði reynsluna af, greyið. Sennilega ekki hægt að kæra kisuna sem satt við hlíð af honum, ánægð á svip. Svoleiðis ofbeldi er engin frétt, jafnvel hér á landi.

sunnudagur, júní 07, 2009


Going north, there was nothing but rain. Massive eight-wheelers threw spray off the pavement onto the windshield, and before I slowed, I could feel the tires begin to hydroplane.

Coming south again, a fleet horse drew a black buggy from one side of the highway to the other on the overpass -- a dark bay sure-footed on the concrete and mane flying.

þriðjudagur, maí 26, 2009


I was dead-heading irises and trimming back the spent stalks when I found it under the leaves, little claws up, oil-rainbow-black feathers awry, beak turned to one side as if in dismay.

fimmtudagur, maí 21, 2009


Suggested names for cats:
  • syntax
  • synecdoche
  • metonymy
  • parataxis
  • metataxis
(In fact, I know a cat named Lexicon.)

They ignore you when you call them, anyway, so you might as well get some vocabulary drill out of the experience.

mánudagur, maí 11, 2009


  • stone flax or silk (depending on its fineness)
  • amianthus (or amiant)
  • salamander wool (for those either ignorant or given to metaphor)

The present proper term is asbestos, though asbestos is a misnomer. It is from a Latin word from a Greek word for quicklime, even though quicklime is something completely different. Its Greek designation meant "inextinguishable," as quicklime (CaO) is, reacting as it does violently with water. Asbestos does no such thing. It is merely and quietly impervious to flame.

Quicklime might have been an ingredient in Greek Fire, the napalm of the Byzantine Empire. It took a long time to figure out that the feathery mineral with more obvious defensive applications would be at least as dangerous.

sunnudagur, apríl 26, 2009

til vinstri

It looks like the etymology of left is uncertain. It may be a taboo word, like Gk aristeros, or it may have all to do with crookedness, weakness, limpness and dangling, and all many of unfortunate things. The older Old English is winestra, cousin to wyn, a word to do with friendship. Thus, a taboo word like "The Kindly Ones" or "The Good Folk." Better safe than sorry.

I am left thinking that the Vanir are Left-Greens. Certainly they are left wing -- Samfó, perhaps? The old Alþýðubandalag? At any rate, they've been in coalition with the Æsir for a long time. The Æsir, obviously, are Conservatives. Not only are they in fact conservative, controlling the flow of wealth and goods to their own advantage, but they are the original Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn. The differentiation from the jötnar was its own revolution, a declaration of independence followed by state formation. They are the men's party, whereas women have always been more numerous and influential on the Left.

I suppose this makes Ragnarök entry into the European Union. Heh.

laugardagur, apríl 25, 2009


All the narrating words have to do with enumeration except for "narrate." Telling is tallying: OE tellan, ON telja. Recounting is counting: OFr conter, L computare. These are words about getting things in the right order: first this, then that ... total unity of sujet and fabula. ("Narrate," surprisingly to me, is from the same root as "know," but a transitive word about making something known.)

I can't be bothered to follow it blow-by-blow. Tell me when it's over and the numbers are in.

föstudagur, mars 20, 2009

landauðn nema

Will such pictures become less romantic now that everyone is crushed beneath their foreign-currency mortgages? There's been such a fashion for images of the glamorously dying districts, the falling-down houses, the dwindling ovine population, the furthest fishing stations, and the octogenarian wild-bearded stubborns who will not leave them. This has all been very quaint in boom time, or at least in the latter-day boom time when people paused just short of erasing all traces of harder and more rural days so as to preserve the remnants for contemplation. The last fishing ver on the coast of Reykjavík proper has but recently been museumified with an interpretive sign viewable from the jogging path.

Now the newest eyðibýli are in the half-built hverfi ringing the capital, some high on the heath. They -- like the empty shops on Laugarvegur -- are considerably less romantic. Financial ruin has moved to the city with everyone else.

fimmtudagur, mars 19, 2009

í þeim dögum

They are ferociously stale. Nevertheless, I not only eat them but offer them to others. They have no way of knowing what it tastes like fresh. Fresh or stale, Rauðr Opal tastes of northern Europe's strange licorice æsthetic.

I should be clear: these are, properly, Risa Opal - giant-sized Opal - not the standard little pastilles you eat two at a time as per the instructions on the inner flap (fáðu tvö svo þú piprir ekki). But, no! The Risa label is missing. I find an older box containing even staler candy and compare.

Yes, once Risa Opal and now just Opal. And now I remember not having been able to find proper Opal at Leifstöð, at the gas stations, anywhere. Thank god they did not change the essentials of the brilliant pop-art design. They have, however, replaced the marginally larger concentric rings of the Risa box with the marginally smaller ones of the original size box. The result is a rectanglar box dressed up as the old square box. It isn't quite as brilliant as it was.

Those days are these days: giants walk the earth, but they are no longer labeled as such.

fimmtudagur, febrúar 26, 2009

með sigur frá hólminum

Perhaps that was some fearsome sort of Múlasýsluandlit he had, but really I have never seen the like of his face before.

I like to twit my friends that there are only 7 face types among Icelandic men, the same 7 over and over with discomfitingly minor variation. I'm not really serious when I say this, but it is not completely false, and I am not above pointing out all the nr. 4s among the Saturday crowd strolling by the café window for the pleasure of watching a new understanding of the familiar dawn on the face of my interlocutor. It's a little mean, I'll admit.

There are more respectable ways to enjoy the same effect. You could write poetry instead. Not everyone has the talent, of course. For the rest of us, we can always read some and have the symmetrical pleasure at the hands of another, the pleasure of being made to see familiar things in unfamiliar ways.

I may go do that now. I have a book just here, a signature inside the front cover. Further in, there are poems.

þriðjudagur, febrúar 24, 2009


  • hveiti
  • rjómi
  • súkkulaði
  • sylta
  • smjör
  • sykur
  • egg

fimmtudagur, febrúar 12, 2009



fimmtudagur, febrúar 05, 2009


Davíð Oddsson played Ubu Roi in a 1969 MR production of the play of that name.

Ubuesque has come into French as an adjective applicable to rulers so infantile, irresponsible, and selfish as to be dangerous to enemies and subjects both. Ubu became Bubbi when the Jarry play was translated into Icelandic, and I rather like that rendering. However, I'm not sure that bubbaskur would ever convey the same idea. It is too easy to think of Bubbi Morthens first -- not enough people know about Bubbi kóngur.

But everyone knows Dabbi kóngur. Dabbaskur should work nicely.

mánudagur, febrúar 02, 2009


It's a little laughing face, isn't it?

This took me months to figure out, maybe longer. I always saw the alphabetic symbol of Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn: D-listinn. Well, now someone else is in power for the first time in eighteen years. Who's laughing now? The suddenly fyrrverandi ráðherrar of the fyrrverandi government whine about what they would have done had not the coalition disintegrated under the weight of public outrage -- under the weight of impassioned democracy.

I don't know what to make of the symbols of the parties now in coalition, Samfylkingin and Vinstri-Grænn, though Vinstri-Grænn's xV does look a little like Steingrímur J. screwing his eyes shut and yelling something inappropriate from the back of the chamber. He'll have to do that from in front now.

En til hamingju með nýju ríkistjórnina, íslendingar. Ég sá glitt í nokkur hlæjanda andlit á Austurvelli í fréttunum.

laugardagur, janúar 31, 2009

í garðinum

So much for trickle-down economics. This is still beautiful, though.

mánudagur, janúar 26, 2009


  • mótmæli
  • piparúði
  • táragas
  • óeirðalögregla
  • stjórnuslit

None of these words appear in Króksfjarðarbók or Reykjarfjarðarbók. I feel comfortable claiming that outright, without consulting the manuscripts. Perhaps mótmæli - protest - but I doubt it.

miðvikudagur, janúar 21, 2009


í aðsigu
í uppsiglingu
á seyði
á uppleið
á hlaupum

þriðjudagur, janúar 20, 2009


Common starling -- very common, plenty more where it came from, and those plenty more left this one behind when they boiled back up into the air as a black cloud and disappeared two days ago. He must have fallen into a vent and down the disused heating shaft. I can hear him fluttering on the other side of the tin plates screwed into the plaster.

Two days trying to figure out how to get to him. I peer into the wall with a light but see nothing, hear only feathers against masonry. Then this morning he flies out of the hole and into the bright glass window. I catch him when he lands on the only green thing in the room.

With my hand over his back and my fingers curled over his wings, I felt his heart speed into triple time and my own stop for a moment: Open beak. Black tongue. Glossy eye. Curved claw. Clenched foot. He will not release his grip on the stem. When I snip the leaf from the plant, he holds it just as tightly as before: Gray skin. Black eye. Get a window open.

He lets go when I do.

sunnudagur, janúar 18, 2009



föstudagur, janúar 16, 2009


The evening papers:

Geese fly into the engines and a plane goes down in the Hudson River. All 155 aboard survive. (Somewhere, birds are making their own tally.) The aircraft is barely afloat now. They've nosed it down the river with boats and bound it against the promenade below Chambers Street. In the photographs it looks like an aluminum leviathan roped against a whaler's bow.

In Hafnarfjörður, a man calls the police for help in evicting a tomcat (not his own) from his apartment. The police refuse to send a unit, and the man is forced to carry out a citizen's arrest and take the apprehendee to the station on his own. The cat is released from custody soon afterwards. Inquiries reveal that the Hafnfirðingur does own another cat, a female, and this sheds considerable light on the actions of the habitually visiting tom.

þriðjudagur, janúar 13, 2009

hitt í fyrra

That was summer, then.

mánudagur, janúar 12, 2009

til eru fræ

fimmtudagur, janúar 08, 2009


Thousands of starlings. Fat and fluffy (or pretending to be), they are in every tree and on every branch outside my window. The closest ones press their chins down into their breasts, looking satisfied or grumpy. But, oh, the chatter in the other ones! If just a high and bouncing sound can be cacophonous, then this one is. I like it, though. I tap at the keyboard and they chirp on the twigs.

(Who knew mynas were also starlings, also Sturnidae? I had had no idea. People listen more attentively to them than to common starlings, but, then, people like to hear themselves talk. )

And -- stillness! I turn my head and catch only the last fifty or so as they vanish over the roofs in silence.


Wet November forest -- warmer than many a northern summertime meadow. Pine, fir. Spongy ground under blankets of needles. Genuinely pitchy dark under the branches, but overhead a sky of charcoal. A moon, once or twice, when there were no clouds.

But moon or not, every night there were owl voices in the trees across the clearing. I heard them when, waking well after midnight to a primal need, I ventured out and padded a little ways off. I never saw them, and they never paused in their conversation as I went by or went back. Every night in the forest I was a small child again, waking to a full bladder and creeping down the stairs long after bedtime, slipping past the lit doorway through which after-dinner grown-up conversation poured.

fimmtudagur, janúar 01, 2009


  • bezel
  • úlfur
  • cabochon
  • meniscus
  • corona
  • glassúr
  • rime
  • hjásól
  • halo
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