Monday, January 15, 2024

In the summer of 2020 the Norwegian press reported that Eurasian elk had been sighted on several of the western islands for the first time in a century.

I trace their route back to the islands
along the mainland peninsula
to the road bridge at Tysnes

wilded by their meanderings
believing I lie where they lay
on matted lichens & lingonberry

buttoned with ticks gnawing
for sustenance moulted antlers
loving the brittle dew latched to the velvet

fed as from hands that offered up
such elegiac bleatings of the earth

to skies so clear & cold
they reassert the difference
between instinct & want

I’ve read that elk can seal
their nasal passages when feeding
on aquatic vegetation

a useful adaptation when it comes
to fording the kilometre
of firth from one island to this
how I plan to return   as in fables
on the back of a bull elk

climbing out on the rocks
by the boathouse where we watched
a felt mallet moon
gong the narrow sound

I will rise in chains of tang & sea water
to lie soaking at your feet

while in me a lone elk wades
from the midnight ocean
& vanishes into conifer forest

Monday, January 15, 2024