I faced the unmagical invitations of Iceland, the pathetic colonies of Greenland, and suddenly
those fabulous raiders, those lying in Orkney and Dublin measured against their long swords rusting,
those in the solid belly of stone ships, those hacked and glinting in the gravel of thawed streams
were ocean-deafened voices warning me, lifted again in violence and epiphany. The longship’s swimming tongue
was buoyant with hindsight— it said Thor’s hammer swung to geography and trade, thick-witted couplings and revenges,
the hatreds and behind-backs of the althing, lies and women, exhaustions nominated peace, memory incubating the spilled blood.
It said, ‘Lie down in the word-hoard, burrow the coil and gleam of your furrowed brain.
Compose in darkness. Expect aurora borealis in the long foray but no cascade of light.
Keep your eye clear as the bleb of the icicle, trust the feel of what nubbed treasure your hands have known.’