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-
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…Read the full bio
Issue 19 · December 2013
Table of contents
- From the editors
- Postcard Prose