"i am iceland" and other works; a short collection of poetry

Little flower

Little flower 

Blooming bright

Growing tall with all your might

I know it’s like a bedtime story,

Those ones you knew not to be true 

But when you feel the morning

Dew

Upon your scintillate petals

You

Cannot help feel that things

Are following the seasons as they do.

 

Glacial Pass

If I stared into my own eyes

I’m not sure I could stomach it.

Getting lost in those glacier pits

Would be a terrible fate.

 

This blistering wind chill of

Past abuse and misunderstandings above,

Memories that cut through ice below-

That layer of glistening 

Choice and awareness.

Now these silver scales of

Courage flicker tenderly in the 

Waters of the iris for

          Only milliseconds at a time.

 

It’s what sparked your hunter’s instincts

As you wielded your fishing pole

Venturing into untamed deep.

 

Trekking through boulders and bullying pine trees

The bite from the air makes grown men wish

They had the fur of the happily hibernating bear

That live somewhere underneath.

 

Tripping over thickets of thorn-encrusted weed

The hook from your rod sticks your back and you cry.

 

The blue of this pain outweighs your need for sport

All you want is a fire blazing strong and bright

Blankets on leather couches

With your catch of the day roasting and smelling sweet,

 

But now you are trapped and lame from 

That god-damned frozen terrain

Unsure of where to go because now you’re lost

          In this dangerous game.

 

I am Iceland

I am Iceland

My homeland.

My escape.

In nowhere,

          fanning out

 

Green-lit waters glowing black in

Bruises healing softly

With wilted violet petals salting

          peachy skin

 

  The landscape

 

  a violent terrain.

 

Inside

Volcanoes brewing softly making 

Birdies caw and crow in the thoughts 

Of grey sky above them.

 

 

 

Chilled.

Desolate

 

Amorous.

 

When I met you.

You were my moss growing green

And new and 

Softly, 

          gently, sprouting…

 

Out of desolate ground where no hope was kept

Where nature had just stopped trying.

Springtime was coming and everything was shaking

 

Quaking with anticipation and warmth

And turning into what surely must be heaven.

 

Playmates

I’d still play with you

 

I’d still live in fantasy with you

 

Just to pass the time

Until I figure it out

 

I don’t know

 

          I just love you I guess

 

But it’s no big deal

 

Because you just don’t feel

  that way

 

Fuck it’s okay

Cuz I’m used to this

 

  Or something like this

 

All I know is you make me feel

 

Like a child

Like a babe

Like I saw the color sapphire the very first time

 

You could be mine

 

  Or something like that.

 

I’ll just live with perpetual heart attack

 

And lose my breath.

 

 

   And stuff.

 

 

I’d still be your puppy dog.

Please come drool over me

 

And live like honey bees.

 

I’d still play with you.

 

Stand Up Routine

tattered blue velvet costumes

dustied-up in a trunk

boysenberry dreams

glimmering mean

mean bruises – teeth marks on my skin

weathered thin from your 

hologram whispers

stinking clean

and tender

clean and dapper like your whiskers

won me over

that simple cadence of a joke:

 

setup,

 

          lockdown,

  

                           zinger.

 

Remembrance of caramel laughter

clashes with your tequila punchline

producing stale sniggers

that wilt away into emptiness – 

a wasted weekday of midsummer

weighing fat and cold and awkward on my center

 

because silver-tonged wit used as guns and blades

soon gets tarnished

when the tune you sing 

reverberates echoes of

“Worship Me.”

Elle Stempe