Lyngbakr ~ A poem by Dominic Weston


An Icelander, eight centuries past, wrote of a sea beast so vast
that heather, perhaps even trees, took root across its back –
looming above the Arctic waters it could be perilously
mistaken for an island

In northern Botswana the stark rise and fall of Sable Hill breaks
like a whale’s back above the eternally flat and wide Kalahari
the bone-dry spring denudes its pelt of Appleleaf and Acacia,
giving it a moth-eaten air

Sable lies in wait, at the shallow edge of a landlocked fossil sea
whose waves, now long gone, once scoured its craggy flanks
and rolled the rocky parings smooth, then buried them
as huge shoals of pebbles

Every century slides onwards slowly for the immense Lyngbakr,
with its salt-rimed, barnacle-blind eyes below the surface
it is unaware that the sun has stolen the water, and the wind
has replaced it with sand

But, on a night when the sheet metal moon shudders up high
and turns the flatlands to steel, Sable is slick and sleek again
and it recalls the endless mineral cold of the Greenland Sea
and why it had to leave

Dominic Weston

First published in Skylight 47

Dominic Weston produces wildlife programmes, runs over hills and writes poetry. His work can often be about family, the natural world, or both – frequently undercut by a slick of darkness. Form and pattern dictate the work on the page, but he has also gone off piste into Poetry Film. He tweets @Limescale

Photo credit @anniespratt at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: