A perfect halibut

Before they built success with steel, concrete
and glass for cruise ships passing,
this was a place for drying cod,
for diesel fumes, from hands and rope-burned fingers
grabbing beer and cigarettes..

This was a place where souvenirs
where faded postcards, and coffee still was
poured in cups with saucers.

“We are between the seasons now”,
the waiter said, as wa were served a three-course
dinner, by the sea.
“The midnight sun has ceased,
but it’s still not dark enough for Northern light”.

We ate lobster soup while sipping
chilled Poilly Fumé, reflecting how a city change from
cod and beer to tourist trap,
but how you now can get a perfect halibut.

There is still an old shipyard in Tromsø

There is still an old shipyard in Tromsø

Today Lilian hosts Poetics at dVerse, and she want to us to be travel guides to places where you might have traveled. This summer we spent a couple of days in Tromsø, a city in Northern Norway that I can recommend, even if it has lost some of it old charm. It’s amazing how a city that far north can have so many hotels and restaurants.

September 13, 2016

21 responses to “A perfect halibut

  1. Living on the West Coast of Canada, I appreciate the fishing industry and the villages it created along our shore. In your words, I can smell the salty sea air, Björn. Wonderful :))

  2. Sounds like a fun place, in between the touristy times. I love sipping Poilly Fumé also. I used to love seafood but after my bout with cancer, I can’t stand it any more, smell or taste. Although I do not mind the smell of the ocean. I prefer our barrier island getaways, although they have become crowded the past few years. Too busy.

  3. Ah… Having been on cruises – and doing back-to-backs in November through Australia and New Zealand, am somewhat familiar with those ports “made” for cruise ship traffic. I think the locals must breathe a sigh of relief when the ships stop coming for a bit and they have their streets back and their favorite local restaurants with open tables. And yes indeed – halibut is my favorite!!

  4. You know, I have never waxed poetic on a place I have visited. I must now endeavor to travel somewhere worthy of rhyme and/or verse of some kind. It will not likely contain Halibut, I’m afraid. So it will be of limited appeal to the masses.

  5. I know the kind of change you mean — the push and pull of a place realizing what it needs to capitalize on to draw the tourists. Some is good, some is bad, all is understandably necessary for survival — but you can’t help but feel a pang. Well done!

  6. I enjoyed your fishy travelogue, Bjorn, particularly the contrast in the first stanza between teh modern town and the men with the rope-burned fingers, beer and cigarettes – I could picture the scene so well.

  7. Progress is all too often an ugly noisy arrogant bitch; that’s what promotes nostalgia, as only in our mind’s eye can we see what once was, & pine for it.

  8. Thanks for expressing the uneasiness felt in travel. As tourists we want full service no matter what impact on the local history. Yet, those locals survive on the money left behind.

  9. Such vivid imagery! I feel as if I have been there after reading your poem. … And eaten there as well. I’m trying to imagine the fragrance, odors, and aromas of this spot. Now we need a dVerse prompt where we share our olfactory travels! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your poem.

  10. You make a good point about tourist traps – and your notes were interesting, as well. You handled the conversation – which can be very tricky – nicely, here, I thought.

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