Archives for posts with tag: Iceland

iceland poster
Best-Laid Plans
by Cynthia Anderson

What happens to a dream deferred?
—Langston Hughes

In the 1960s, the preteen girl
who is me scours her local library
in a small New England town
devouring what they have

on Iceland. My paradise—
a place where everyone cares
about poetry, where books
are the national pastime

and there are more authors,
and readers, per capita
than any other country
on Earth—

not to mention
glaciers and volcanoes
hot springs and waterfalls
the wild rocky coast—

Land of the Eddas!
I imagine belonging there
in ways I’ll never
belong here.

The dream freezes
but doesn’t die. Finally,
retired, I have the time,
money, a friend to go with.

We book the trip
for April 2020—
then COVID explodes.
At least, we get a refund.

So I am still waiting
for Iceland—unlikely
to try again, as global
warming worsens

and my need to stay
home grows stronger—
deferred dreams
can live forever.

IMAGE: Iceland travel poster by 12thStFactory. Prints available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I couldn’t believe my good fortune in finally booking a trip to Iceland, a lifelong dream. I planned to attend the Iceland Readers’ Retreat with a friend in April 2020—10 days of total immersion in Icelandic culture and literature. Then, as COVID unfolded, I watched in stunned disbelief as my long-deferred dream went unfulfilled. However, I continue to enjoy all things Icelandic from the comfort of home.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cynthia Anderson lives in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, she has published nine poetry collections, most recently Now Voyager with illustrations by Susan Abbott. She is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens and guest editor of Cholla Needles 46. Visit her at

Blue Lagoon
by Ruthie Marlenée

Take me back to the land of the blue lagoon,
to the geothermal pools where silica mud
masks are recommended, but not mandatory.
Where waterfall droplets spit out double rainbows
and volcanoes spike up across lava fields.
Where geysers shoot up like aerosol
high enough to tickle the emerald lights
dancing in a mesmerizing chorus line across the sky.
I want to travel back
to the place where watching
something as ordinary as people meeting up
with friends and family for drinks or dinner
is something more exotic than glaciers
or the aurora borealis.

PHOTO: “Aurora borealis, Iceland” by Pixabay, used by permission.

double rainbow

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I enjoyed my visit to Iceland—a country I admire for its leadership in climate change, renewable energy, gender equity, and Covid-19 response. Skál!

PHOTO: The author and her husband and in front of Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall in Iceland, and a double rainbow.

Marlenee headshot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruthie Marlenée is a California native, isolating in Los Angeles with her husband. Her novel, Agave Blues, will be released in 2021 by TouchPoint Press. Her second novel, Curse of the Ninth (WiDo Publishing), published in February 2020, is available wherever books are sold. She earned her Writer’s Certificate “With Distinction” from UCLA. The author of several novels, she is currently working on the sequel to Curse of the Ninth. She is a ghostwriter, screenwriter, novelist. and a poet whose work can be found in a number of literary publications, including Silver Birch Press. Visit her at