PoetryIssue 19 | December 2013

To Get to Trondheimsfjord

by Sue Chenette

you have to turn the map over
to blue and mottled green,
the maze of highways thinned.

At least ninety species of fish
have been observed. Oil has not yet
been found in the Jurassic rock although
there’s plenty out there in the North Sea. This
is lucky for tourism. And for the fish. 

If you want to go further, say
Spitzbergen, you’ll need
a different map—not
this one spread on the floor,
705 Michelin Europe 2011 National,
whose editor said, Finnmark—okay, far enough.
Or, you could imagine
the Svalbard archipelago there—
under the wicker chair. You could
be in the company of English walrus hunters
who will sight Nordaustlandet in 1617. 

ghhhhrrrrrn, the walruses say, ar ar ar  
and then they whistle
through their long white tusks.

There’s an advantage to 1617:
no brochure in your hotel room
See polar bears in the midnight sun
aboard small expedition vessels
Of course, no hotel room either.

Oh, the deep blue
northern waters of my steep-
walled dreams—Where
can I locate them? (Some areas
remain inaccessible to oil and tourists, and they
have been bracketed with question marks.)

      And yet there are wonders.

            Are you carrying a notebook
            with a pencil and string?
S writes from
            closer to home. Two huge moose
            on the path where we walked so it’s early yet
            to go to my favourite bench

                      by a blue pond, among green ferns and balsam

About the author

Sue Chenette has backpacked in the Alaskan Arrigetch, paddled a yellow life raft down the Green River, and bicycled from Vienna to London. (She wasn’t ashamed to get off and push when the road was really steep.) Read her poetry collections, The Bones of His Being, and Slender Human Weight.

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