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Lesley Harrison Whaling [Rune Poems]

The text commonly called the Icelandic rune-poem is only a poem by courtesy.
—R.I. Page, Viking Society for Northern Research, 1999.








a talisman
a genus of mollusc, with thin fragile shells
of whales, the middle ear

a skirr, a blint
the first sighting
to become newly pregnant

of cloud - a streak of lucid whiteness
a trick, a stratagem
to close the eye

a crush between pans of ice
a rimming and grinding
a corpse (probably female)

a tumulus
a friction knot
a tide lump, a varrel

an anthem
of birds, the contour feathers
to haul or tow, to bore through

a cormorant
a cirrus cloud
the mark of ink on paper

Lesley Harrison lives and works on the north-east coast of Scotland. In her poetry and prose she examines the human process of inhabiting northern landscapes — physically, linguistically, imaginatively, subliminally. Her most recent collection is Blue Pearl (New Directions, 2017).
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