PoetryIssue 06 | August 2009

Icelandic Horses

by John Sibley Williams

Mindless of our rented truck’s grunting, spitting,
and the volcano’s eye for black numbers,
they muzzled through charred grass in the black sand,
unmountable when spied from the road.
Hardly the bold images from a paperback
Eddas, half-read on the dashboard.
Shame we don’t have time to adjust
for them to grow mighty and reckless
like Arabians beneath a crescent moon.

The sickle of winter fell quickly that year
without Bedouin tents or mythical lore
to cradle the island’s hunger.
Our first night back in Reykjavik,
past the brennivín haze of our restaurant,
six seamen dragged empty nets through the streets.
Bookstores offered twenty translations for each saga,
each sword twenty renowned sufferings:
an endless search for herring in a fishless sea.

About the author

A Bostonian by birth, John Sibley Williams currently lives in Vienna and has traveled throughout Central and Eastern Europe. He has crisscrossed the US many times with only a car and tent, and has survived various animal encounters, including a scorpion bite. John has an MA in Writing, frequently reads his work publicly, and has been published in over thirty magazines, including The Evansville Review, Flint Hills Review, and The Journal. He would rather be in Reykjavik right now.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok