In Iceland this spring, arctic terns circle
overhead all day—a day that lasts and lasts
turning twilight towards midnight
fusing pink in pre-dawn light at three.
Fifty thousand miles from Arctic to Antarctica,
Iceland’s coast to the Weddell Sea and return.
In a lifetime they might have winged
to the moon and back three times.
Aerodynamic wings slice the wind and clouds,
they soar screeching songs higher and higher—
a breeding dance in this land of moss and tundra,
pumice rocks, and windblown shores.
I hear their voices in my mind as I migrate
home to Maine, imagine the globe of their journey,
following across the Atlantic, tracing the coasts
of Africa and South America as if they knew
this route before the continents split.
My fingers long to touch those desiccated
blooms placed on the crater rim years ago.
The lake was barren then, and parking close,
we walked to the edge to lay our offerings
to Pele. Cliff’s edge strewn with bottles of gin—
her favorite rumor has it—tobacco,
blood-red anthuriums, and torch ginger
for their fiery blossoms on long green stems
rising in gardens to light the sky.
What each supplicant wished for,
I do not know—perhaps a lost love,
or safety from an oncoming storm—
what I wished for—
to know the power of her fires,
to speak the tongues of goddesses
to be the object of desire.
Today the lake is a cauldron
filled with fire that casts
its glow into the night sky
colors the stars as red as torchlight.
But I am far from Pele’s ancient home.
I think of loves both found and lost,
words shouted, whispered, or wasted breaths,
fires that raged, ravaged, and roamed.
Damariscotta Salt Marsh
Withered grasses fold towards the earth
bleached of color by winter’s winds. A horseshoe
crab, its burnished copper shell, buttons protrude
along its spine, its spiky tail no threat—
primeval remains of life abandoned.
The turning of the tide
a ticking metronome of time.
Bubbles rise between the floating floes of ice,
life lies below the surface.
I keep returning in winter
to ruminate among the grasses.
Submerged worlds and whispered words
reflect my losses. Winter’s sharp sword edge
of death and grief and loneliness, conceals
the promise that life continues on. Yet color will return
with changing seasons, a flock of wild geese will lead
the incoming tide. I long for spring. It’s there—
beneath the surface, emerging.
Alongside a successful career in business and media, Meg Weston has had a lifelong fascination with volcanoes. She’s traveled around the world pursuing her desire to witness the power and beauty of the earth in its raw processes of creation and transformation. Meg writes and photographs to express a connection to the earth that is sensual, emotional, and spiritual. Her images can be seen on her website www.volcanoes.com.
With a passion for the geological processes that shape the earth the stories that shape our lives, Meg expresses herself in poetry, non-fiction, and photography. Meg completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in 2008, with an interdisciplinary emphasis on creative non-fiction and photography. Over the past ten years she has studied poetry under the guidance of such wonderful teachers as Betsy Scholl, Richard Blanco, Kevin Pilkington, Ellen Bass, Nick Flynn, and Tess Taylor.
In early 2020, Meg retired from her position as president of Maine Media Workshops + College where she established The Writers Harbor program to complement media arts curricula in photography, filmmaking, and book arts. As the co-founder of The Poets Corner www.thepoetscorner.org Meg currently supports poetry readings and a growing community of poets, writers, and others who listen to and love the written and spoken word.