Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Penny Harter


On this continent time is a whiteout
waxing and waning with the ice
that doubles in each six month night.

Snow of a million years,
snow falling upon snow
fills the valleys,
caps the mountains.

Empty as the moon,
silent as the wind,
this is a land of hostile cliffs,
a white abyss where coastlines host
the only life there is.

Yet here we set up bases,
flag the Pole, abandon garbage
which will not decay–here,
where the Earth archives dust,
and holds our ancient air
in bubbles under ice.

In Antarctic waters,
blue whales sound the depths,
penguins dive from ice floes,

and seals feed on krill
which feed on plankton
which may die from too much
ultraviolet light.

I think of an astronaut
walking in space, the umbilical
connecting him to the mother ship
all that he has.
And then the disconnect.

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