Halley VI Base Station, Antarctic
It has been two months in a pitch dark base house
where blackness sips through, that tar gets everywhere:
clothes, notes and logical thoughts. Crude home,
ancient etching, carved into a rock. On floating sea shelf,
a team of 13 – one woman, the rest men,
battle their way towards an arctic tongue
to measure the marring of our future. They dig in dark,
solid blocks of recycled air between them. Done,
another battle won; they celebrate
with tinkling metal mugs that brand their palms.
Silver sheen of a laptop screen guides them
to their families. They gather like moths around
flickering lights, saving crumbs of births, deaths and burst pipes
for later – when brutal winter strangles their minds
and gulls cry them to sleep. Look, a scientist (leather-faced glaciologist)
space-walks across acres of snow. He stops to marvel at a snowflake.
It flutters on the tip of his nose.
You can read this and my other winter poem in the first issue of Word Bohemia journal here. Check out some great writing – perfect reading for long and dark winter evenings!