"Ingeborg," Peter Nicolai Arbo, 1868, Wikimedia photo, for this poem Brithe.
“Ingeborg,” Peter Nicolai Arbo, 1868, Wikimedia photo, for this poem Brithe.

Decisions to abandon Greenland, summers
Cold as winter, for too long we have ignored
Fates, whale-paths cluttered with ice floes,
Longboat hulls pinched in closing leads,
Norse gods no longer shine upon our farms
And tribes, Vikings perpetually sailing west,
Markland promise of tree-felling, new life.

Our days exploring Greenland north coasts
Are no more, Helluland equally as cold, we
Set sail due west, and I, Brithe, will be guiding
First boats, summer sun blinds stars at night,
By compass we must navigate, open oceans,
Luminous streams, faith of prayer and crucifix,
Norse Christians pray at stone Hvalsey Church.

For mothers in perplexed doubt, recall when
Worlds were pristine new, how Vikings invaded
Iceland, by boat ventured heroically to distant
Greenland, family-farmstead building, cloudless
Cold now descending, we must take to seas no
Boats have plowed, promise of Vinland, grapes
And wine, familiar rocky sea-cliff roar.

Take my sturdy hand in faith, look to crystalled
Horizons, search for mountains and thick-treed
Markland, five days of constant light, fear not
As Greenland recedes from view, sea-wandering
Courage, shameless love for your men, my sea-
Heart awakened, beckoned by seabirds plangent
Call, we embrace oceans horizons cresting.

Viking ShipSails wind-filled, we fly with clouds sea-scudding
Sun to south, mast shadow falling mid-beam,
Gods and magic needle mystical guides, briny
Passions burn and glow. O! Take to sea-spray,
Greatness given, Vikings relish life’s streams,
Victorious and proud amongst great ice islands
Majesties of our predestined sea-course.

What muse awakened Brithe’s Sea-Heart from depths
of Greenland “Little Ice Age?”  Keep sailing-watch,
Brithe, your keen eyes on windswept seas.

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