The black beach

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The statue leans forward,

towards the sea, arms by its side

but yearning for contact,


for reconciliation after the years

of net-cutting, rammed boats,

skippers playing Rule Britannia,


only ended when this newest

land threatened to close

the Nato base at Keflavik.


Moon rising in a purple dusk.

Waves sidle up on Vik’s black beach

as Katla shifts under its glacier.


The ash that darkens the sand

can feed the fields, make

the waters richer with fish.


Now Katla’s preparing to blow again,

to send clouds over Europe’s air routes.

Meanwhile the statue aches for embrace


across the waters, to forget the past.

Gazes towards the laid-up trawlers

of Hull, Grimsby, Fleetwood.


There are two matching statues – one in the small Icelandic town of Vik, the other in Hull


January Swear Box ►


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Greg Freeman

Sun 12th Jan 2020 22:33

Many thanks, Ray. Wrote it after a visit to Iceland in 2012, but tweaked it recently. It was a great thrill to stumble upon its twin in Hull, but the Vik statue is in a far more atmospheric setting. Fish, eh? And volcanoes.

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Sun 12th Jan 2020 22:12

Quite a weighty piece with a fine moral interplay going on, almost like a stalemate. Very robust and persuasive, as I believe is part of your character that likes to engage in such issues as you sympathetically draw out.

I like to see your work on the page Greg!


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