"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


Upon your scintillate petals


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.



Volcanoes brewing softly making 

Birdies caw and crow in the thoughts 

Of grey sky above them.









When I met you.

You were my moss growing green

And new and 


          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.



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:








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