Poetry

My published poetry book is in Icelandic, but I’m translating them into English, one by one, and will publish them here along with other poems I’ve written in English.

Waiting (Biðstaða)

I wait for the clock to wake me up
with aggressive noise.
I wait for the traffic lights to light up
and let me continue.
I wait for the lengthy workday to free me
from its captivity.
I wait for the television schedule to perish
in the evening.
I wait for the yearned for sleep to show me mercy
during night.
I wait for you to find your love for me among your feelings.

I wait.

 

The Battle of Daring (Baráttan um að þora)

The words come to a halt
before I can let them out.
They crawl back to the brain
settle
repeat
again and again and again.

The repeat
magnifies a heartbeat
that reacts
by beating
faster and faster and faster.

A tremble goes to the fingertips,
a tremble that wakes up nervousness
a nervousness that feeds doubt,
a doubt that gnaws through thoughts.

My breath struggles with going deeper
my inner wisdom struggles with the opposition

a vicious battle
against words,
against a body,
against thoughts,
against feelings.

The battle is fought
inside of me.

A battle that retreats
but never ends

A battle
where the only attacker
where the only victim
is me.

 

Bare Worded (Berorðað)

Lie bare
under a bare sky

lie here
all bare.

Sad bear
my sins

on my back
I bear.

Pick berries
in a blue bush

lose myself
blue, bare.

 

Singles Dance (Dans einhleypra)

men today are timid
like past women

if I’m interested in you
what do I do

side step step
quiet talk talk

nothing happens

which of us doesn’t know the dance?

over-interpretation
over-analysis
over-spin

or is it realism
based on experience
of failed routine

swing out
not in

are you there?

I want an answer
want to know you
want you to know me

These steps are too complicated.

 

Emotional Gurgle (tilfinningavella)

You pierce my heart

.

Slow and steady
the emotions gurgle out

,

one day I wake up
with a heart
that’s an airless balloon



In spite of searching all over

I never find a patch
that covers the hole.

 

I Knock (Ég banka)

I knock and knock.

You answer every now and then
but sometimes you pretend you’re not home.

I still see your soul walking around
on the other side of the peephole.

You promise me a house key
but never give it to me.

I consider to climb up on the balcony
to get inside to you.

I knock and knock and knock.

 

The Well (Brunnurinn)

I head towards the old well
even though I know it’s dried up
then maybe
maybe now
maybe has it now filled up with water.

With each step I take closer
diminishes my corrosive thirst
while a memory
a shadow of a memory
a shadow of a memory of a daydream
about the sip of water, I once had
from this well
– or was it another one
this shadow of a memory fills me with a bliss.

My mouth waters
the lips get hot and vibrate
I feel a nice dizziness
in the back of my neck
a tingling from toes to head
with a stop midway.

The bliss
the excitement
climaxes
when I stand with my eyes closed
at the edge of the well.

I slowly open my eyes
and look down into the darkness.

it’s all dry

I throw down a stone
hoping to hear

a splash

it’s all dry

I lower the bucket
but pull it back up

full of disappointment.

it’s all dry

I walk back
thirstier than before
with even more longing
even more wanting.

The next day
I head in a different direction
but

then I head back to the old well
even though I know it’s dried up
then maybe
maybe now
maybe has it now filled up with water.

With each step I take closer
my corrosive thirst diminishes
while a memory…

 

Recycled Love (Endurunnin ást)

Boy after boy
Man after man

tick tock
tick tock

Crush after crush
Love after love

tick tock
tick tock

Diluted fascination
recycled love

tick
tock

Boy after
man

tick
tock

Crush
after love

tick tock
Diluted
love

tick

 

Iceland (Ísland)

Iceland why do you get deceived by promises of erasing debts?
Iceland why do you repel nurses and professionals from this country?
I have a bad conscience because I’m lucky to have good wages.
I’m lucky to be able to send my kid to sports.
I want my child to get a good education.
I’d rather be naked than hungry.
Iceland, Hildur Lilliendahl is not self-promoted spokeswoman of feminism.
You elected her, not us.
Can we talk reasonably?
Why have women still lower wages?
Do you know what Nazi means?

Oh, my dear city.
I’m a city woman with less value than the one in the country.
I just want to write poetry and music.
You gave me the gift of writing.
You mock and despise artists.
Iceland, why do you always vote for so bad songs in Eurovision?
One song again.
Iceland, do you torment us with bad weather so we’ll stay inside and write music?
I’d rather want a southern Samba.
Or is it so I won’t go out to protest?
Iceland, I can’t rip the head from my ass.
I have a right to protest when I want.
Iceland I want equality and fairness.
Not rejection or gullibility.
I don’t want to be angry even if the anger is just.
Iceland should we try to become friends?

I’m talking to you.
Are you gonna convince us with the editorial in Morgunblaðið?
I rather read Grapevine.
You need foreigners to see what’s really going on.
But not muslims
not poles not muslims not poles.
A mosque could cause terrorism.
They want to hide us in a burqa.
No breasts, just burqa.
Breast don’t really exist.
No more than Pirates.

Iceland, build more restrooms for tourists.
Iceland, don’t open more puffin stores.
Iceland, show me people that voted Framsókn.
Iceland why do you forget so soon?
I use my mistakes to learn from.
Iceland I don’t read the news anymore.
Sannleikurinn news is the most honest one.
God bless you!
God bless Mjólkursamsalan!
God help you!
Iceland when are you gonna stop pretending being something you’re not.
You are not invited.
Iceland once I smoked foreign hash.
Once I smoke Icelandic marijuana.
Now I just smoke rolled cigarettes and there is less madness.
But what should I do when the psychiatric ward is closed for the summer?
Should the state church cure me?
But I’m not Christian anymore.

Iceland why don’t I have any fishing quota?
Iceland I don’t know how to save money.
I feel like I have the right to buy an apartment
and eat vegetarian food at restaurants.
My extra pension savings go to in my house loan.
Sometimes I’m grateful.
When will you become grateful for the elderly?
When will you allow the disabled to own cats?
Why do you want everybody to work so much?
Iceland you’re my country.
I’m proud of our people.
I’m proud of our nature.
But I can’t be proud of you.
Iceland this is a serious matter.
Privatisation is no magic solution.
When are you gonna stop harassing environmentalists?
I don’t want to work in an aluminum- or a fertilizer factory.
Iceland I’m rather gonna write poetry.
Iceland I’m not gonna give up.

 

The Reason

It’s not your transparent blue eyes which mirror mine.
It’s not your sparkling smile or how you can always make me laugh.
Not your everlasting support in everything I do.
It’s not because we understand each other’s unfinished sentences.
Not even your height that fits your head perfectly on top of mine.
No, the reason that I love you is your smell.
The smell of fulfilment mixed with yearning.
It’s the smell of poetry.

 

A Red Toothbrush

Your newly bought red plastic toothbrush
goes beside my green and blue one
that has an exchangeable head
and bamboo bristles.

Our eyes meet in the mirror
and exchange smiles
that are otherwise hidden
under the toothpaste foam.

A lonely reflection stares at me
while I clean the bleeding mascara
and use my last energy
to brush my teeth and go to sleep.

I see red and feel like bursting
from anger and powerlessness
so I take your toothbrush
break it and light it on fire.