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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

East of Vinland Duo

Two more poems, inspired by, or written during my Norwegian trip of five years ago:

Memories of Father, Lyngor Island, Norway

By Jonathan Falk

“You beast,” Dad would whisper to us, my friend and I uttered as we tripped over the drops and steps of the island, the interior march of cows and rustling branches. The taxi boat brought us out there, knocking through the surf in a profound trip, transporting the two guys. The world-worn restaurant owner, working on a cigarette and cell phone, had taken my order and ordered our taxi. Fish soup appeared, brimming with mussels and crawdads.
We thought of my father when we saw a middle-aged man bare-legged wandering in a robe on this skerry. The bathrobe was like the ones Dad wore, when he would survey the woods and walls in Oregon. Passed out in a brownout of wine, once in a while Dad would wake up, far from Greenland and the Faroes. Sometimes he cried: "Judge Crater!" Then he fell back into a shaded slumber. The bridges and fire stations and platforms of Lyngor wrinkled like swan legs, staves of houses erect on rock lawns, boats ran by our sunny stake of allemansretten.

Written in Arendal, Norway

by Jonathan Falk

I am about to find the ferry to Merdo.

I may never come here again.
White nights
sputter where
I am not
boats moan in the waves, the other side of the channel
masonic compass,
weighty except for the pediments seated right on cliff faces
spire tolls to my eardrums
punctured by the Fata Morgana
Are you an Englishman?
Woman of eyes
flashes upon mine,
but I am alone
melatonin gravitas
in birches of granite

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