Poetry - Issue 19 | December 2013

To Get to Trondheimsfjord

by Sue


To Get to Trondheimsfjord

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.

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