Icelandic Natural Disasters
The disasters of Iceland are different.
When steam vents beneath a glacier
the ice melts until the inner lagoons
shatter the edge and flood the highway, eat
There are fissure eruptions, where lava
spews from giant cracks. Add water,
rain and you have another disaster,
ash fall as far as Sweden.
Regular volcanoes too.
The plague of drifting sea ice, jamming harbors,
blocking boats and raising the surrounding temperature
so grass dies, then sheep,
cattle die, then people die.
Destruction by glacial rush, lava, sea ice and busy teeth
of sheep ringing the birch trees, eating the little birch
loosening the trees’ hold on earth, ruining
the green land .
There was shipbuilding, need for warmth that led to more trees gone,
deforestation deaths. Frost plays tricks on pasture, forces
grassy bumps and hillocks to tangle up your step and that
The Norse arrived in Iceland when no one lived there. They knew
cattle, sheep, brought cattle, sheep. And someone unleashed
a flood of bird egg devouring mink which bred like
plagues of fire.
Susan H. Maurer