A Winter Poem
On a nothing kind of day in July
I left the grey skies and grey rain
went into the padded silence of the library
in search of an old story.
I sat at a machine and flickered the screen,
sifted and sifted until I chanced on something –
like finding a flint arrowhead
unearthed beneath my feet.
I was taken back to Greenland and the time of Eric
how the settlement prospered until it was three thousand
They built a cathedral of red sandstone, a symbol of
But bit by bit they faltered: they failed to trade with
and the soil was grazed too hard. The ships from Norway
disappeared. In the end they must have starved, slowly,
as the ice built its walls about their dying.
The last man was found, face down on a beach,
his blunt and broken knife beside him.
I finished and the computer eye blinked shut.
I went back out into the ice and snow;
the blizzard blinding my day.