© Christopher Raine



Strait of Belle Island


In songs, we sing, our fortunes told

our entrails strewed in halls hallowed.

Valhalla calls to western shores

by luminous stones, by hope’s allure.

Our glorious death remains there still

to face the sea and brave the swell.

Our iron blood

stains these rocks,

our sacrifice

set to discordant choirs

of ravenous gulls

and sea lions

and the cruelty

of those who came,

of those who left,

of those who lived.

A  flash of lightning

tears the heavens,

our painted features

glistening in the storm,

the clinker-built knar,

rising and falling,

rising and falling,

nótt enda dagr:

interwoven thoughts,


distant memoirs,



to the metaphysics

of slumbering gods.


This Newfoundland coast,

ragged and cruel,

sublime as the face of Hel.

A hard life to the bitter end

of weathered hands

and lonely oak leaves

caught by sou’wester winds,

adrift to blackened seas

capped by cresting

white-lustful plumes

to the rising sound

of the rushing



the breathless crash

of gossiping rocks

rising like mountains

in lustful crescendo,

cruelty echoed

in the applause

of an amphitheatre.