ENZWELL™ (travel journal)

Enzwell is an Icelandic journal of good fortune in travel. Follow the adventures of Agate “Aggy” Leifdóttir as she explores the countryside.

I.

Inhale and exhale.
Repeat if you must.
Around the next bend is ENZWELL.
Sometimes we look,
and think that we find,
a place in our mind that makes sense—
where shadows stay hidden
and forests know trees,
where wisdom is quickly dispensed.
Yet sometimes forgotten
are magical places
where few let their hearts find content.
Its lessons ride wind.
The footholds are shaky.
It’s you, without prior consent.

Do we find enough comfort
in feelings that rise
when challenged and put to the test?
Do we worry too much
when faculties fail?
Do we lose sight of all that’s unmessed?
For all it can take
in the life of the lost
are obstacles found on the path—
a shiny new object,
a jagged old hook,
an outlier dodging the math.

When forced to consider
what doesn’t align,
what methods to mend are recalled?
Perhaps nothing’s wrong
in these uncertain moments.
You’re somewhere that’s sacred, that’s all.
Let’s promise today
to venture off-path.
Invite the unseen to compel.
Inhale and exhale.
Repeat if you must.
Around the next bend is Enzwell.™

II.

Instead of a master,
the Earth teaches her
by peekaboo, shape shifts and rumbles.
Aggy is shorthand
for Agate Leifdóttir,*
a nord of extraordinary means—
a rail for a frame,
a hay bale of hair,
a Padawan strong for her teens.
Instead of a master,
the Earth teaches her
through peekaboo, shape shifts and rumbles.
The sum of reveals
would frighten her elders.
With her, they enliven and humble.

Yet nowhere but here
could something so wild
seem tame to a girl of few years.
She holds the rosetta
to translate sand swirls.
Her tuning fork’s pitched to frontiers.
From her earliest steps
to the scaling of glaciers,
there’s no place that she’d rather be
than alone with the foot songs
on burnt stone and creek splash.
By shuffle or pedal, it’s glee.

Perhaps I should mention
the darkest of hours
that led to our darling’s free range.
Perhaps I should circle
these lands on a map
where fire and ice interchange.
Yet thinking still more,
I’ll opt for verse VIII
to share what might otherwise dull
the luster of Aggy—
her dogged adventures,
her charm with what hides in the null.

* AGG-it Layf-DAW-tier, a nord of extraordinary means

III.

Yet, once every hour,
she walks to the door
and calls for the dog we once owned.
Grandmother is silent.
She rocks and her hands shake.
She stares out the window all day.
She speaks in half words
that I work hard to coax
to rise to the surface and play.
Yet, once every hour,
she walks to the door
and calls for the dog we once owned.
The view never changes.
Our old friend won’t come.
The time marches forward on loan.

When losing one’s mind,
it certainly helps
to have youth and wonder around
A smile finds a face.
The rocking gains pace.
The silence is less of a hound.
And so this is how
I pass every Sunday,
recharging my feet for the week.
I write in my journal
of jabbering spirits
who still find the will to forthspeak.

I cherish the twinkle
of grandmother’s moments:
the glances that reach past her eyes.
We both know the power
in channeling lightning.
We both dry the tears after cries.
We both have survived
the same ugly fate
to share the same roof in the rain.
We both lived to lift
the most crippling black
that shrouded our home on the plains.

IV.

He turns on a dime.
No sheep can resist
a humorous offer once spoken.
I stop on the shoulder
to tighten my laces.
No cars can be seen here for miles.
A sheep reaches wobble —
his method of running.
The sound of my bike falling riles.
It’s said that the number
of sheep and wild horses
is greater than women and men.
A good thing that is,
for sheep are more honest
and chatty than pens full of hen.

Before he could leave,
I call to the ram
to lessen his nerves with a joking.
He turns on a dime.
No sheep can resist
a humorous offer once spoken.
He hobbles back toward me
and huffs quite a bit.
He’s eager to scratch a few itches.
“Why’d sheep cross the road?"
He stands there dumbfounded.
“They didn’t, they had to get stitches!”

He tips over, laughing.
He plays like he’s dead,
though clearly enjoys the wise crack.
“This morning, I fell short
of scuttling a fence
but the barbed wire loosened my back!
Willy woo was I tense — 
so tense I’d forgotten
the grass on the road’s other side.
They said it was greener,
though I’ll never know.
The pleasure was that I had tried!”

V.

I promise I won’t
seek the footholds to climb.
I won’t fasten swings to their limbs.
I gingerly walk
toward a family of trees.
They huddle to finalize plans.
They stand close together,
one bough in another,
like geishas afuss with their fans.
The gnarliest arbor
takes twenty steps forward
with footsteps that crackle the frost.
Surprisingly nimble,
yet shedding her needles,
she isn’t concerned for the loss.

She finally pauses
and says, “Close enough,
you Vikings are not to be trusted.”
I share that I know
of the plunder evoked,
but I’m not among those who had lusted.
They ravaged for weapons
and built mighty ships,
unaware of the ultimate price.
Few seeds would replenish
the forests destroyed,
No heiress’ tears would suffice.

I promise I won’t
seek the footholds to climb.
I won’t fasten swings to their limbs.
I won’t chip off bark
or remove any leaves.
I won’t whittle fingers to shims.
For all that I seek
is a waltz in their honor,
a token of thanks on parade.
They rustle their foliage
like Apolline peacocks.
They block out the sun and lay shade.
© 2016 Go Booklets

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