Cruising the Fjord

Atop the water over numerous wooden 
Centimeters of a little V-shaped keel 
I float east above 
The bottom of a deep and V-shaped Sognefjord; 
I float east below 
The spot where mountains north and south 
Of me go up 
To finish at Norwegian sky. 

The fjord is twice as deep as she appears: 
Half above is air, 
Perhaps for birds; 
Half below me 
Flooding North Sea in and out, 
Perhaps for fish and eels -- 
Both meeting here, 
Where I at boundary air 
Meet the water cruising. 

Above me, all is clear 
And easy to understand, 
To stand under, 
To see, or at least to look, 
Even as the rain falls 
To mist the meadows and to feed the falls 
That stack the deep just slightly. 

Below, nothing seems visible at all, 
Nothing transparent, nothing conceivable -- 
Only downward thoughts into unpersonable depths 
More ominous to me 
Perhaps for gray-green, viscous, moist matter 
Through which I cannot see -- 
In beneath, and through which 
I could never breathe to be 
But only could imagine 
A plunging 
A sinking slowly 
A dead dropping... 

And so it is with fear and worship, 
With daring ingenuity, 
That I drop one Kroner piece made of mannish metal 
To let it settle and scout through the viscous void, 
To let it waltz from side to side, 
Slipping from quick view 
Within the space of seconds -- 
And my imagination follows it 
With dread and wonder, 
With murderous rage, joyful malice, 
And with regret that I cannot safely go along 
(Neither in a body healthy 
Nor in a mind at peace) 
Down to its far-flung unreachability  

Now lower, 
Now behind us 
(For we move on) 
Still falling, 
Still sinking away 
As we float forward, 
Dropping through that sturdy matter, 
Sturdier than the air around me,
Sturdier and more ancient than my body, 
Perhaps more circular than my soul,
Moving to measured currents and tides
That proxy-dropped Kroner will strike sometime--
Or rather gently rest -- on mossy, muddy
Darkened, scoured granite floor of fjord 
And then move on as well it must – 

For now my little boat has rounded an island 
(A bottom-dwelling mystery thrust up to view) 
In the middle of my journey's reach. 

Without sensing it, 
Without a way of knowing that we've turned, 
I'm heading home already, 
Unmeasuringly over and past 
That coin of Kroner sinking still, 
Past waterfalls with rapids never seen before, 
And under a bridge with civil human traffic... 
Rounding the coastal bend 
Back to the harbor at Bergen, 
Since halfway through that day 
Will come the night, 
And then I sleep.