The old lighthouse at Myrdal,
hard by Vik, is still a lighthouse,
though not a lighthouse anymore.
Its scorching eye that bored into the darkness
from the height in brawling storms
and prowling fog is turned outward
from the shores but does not see the sea.
The ashes of its searing light are cold,
gray as North Atlantic swells
that wrestle with the cliffs.
Its guttural voice no longer sounds
a baleful warning that Charybdis
lurks with gaping maw, and Scylla
beckons near the rocks.
And so it sits alone upon its stanchion
on the headland at Dyrhólaey,
looks down the avenue of continents
into the shifting valleys of the sea.
No one goes there but the wind,
bullying and boisterous like a hooligan
seeking easy pickings from tourists
who mill around and look
out on the dangers of the deep.
The door is locked.
The windows battened down.
Inside, ghosts of mariners
gather in reunion, living in the past
since they were lost in scowling seas.
Their wives, forlorn and all alone,
moaned anguished sobs
that echoed in the silent viks
and stilled the squawking of the gulls.
D. Gary Christian
Santa Clara, Utah
July 19, 2008