I Dream of Contrast
Sometimes I pretend the churning night sky is smog collecting over a furnace,
A swelling bruise on the air’s skin--
Destroying something so blue nothing blasphemous,
Though dispersing shamefully in ashy shafts of wind.
The world could use less blue, though I am blue,
Though I resent that gray is the shade to coat it
In gargoyle-ish, ugly hazes—converting beauty to mildew,
Reducing my ridges of icy scaffolding to a misfit
The tingle of numbness beneath my toes rivals that warm swirl above me
Cold opposed to hot, water to blood, mist to a broiled air’s breath
And while the clotty dark spots replace the stars momentarily,
I wonder if—against all odds—being bleached by darkness means a star’s death
Some beauties are beautiful on their own,
While my beauty, without contrast, is unconcerning
But my dreams of sweltering, smeared skies sets a deadly tone
For if I dream of fire will I wake up burning?
I cannot tell if I’m lighter in darkness than I am before a white backdrop,
that if the sky is white then so am I
or if the sky is black then I am not.
The haze of my dream swirls above me
imitating those chakly hues of ebony, though ghostly--
Featherlight, available only to me, borderless and overwhelming as the air in my lungs.
Unfortunately, my lungs are brick--
Brick like cubes in the summer that melt in glasses.
Brick like polar bear beds that crackle and drift.
Brick like snow falling in painful pelts, dappling red irritations along the skin.
I am not human as I feel,
but a floating mass of what people call
A chiseled ice brick that melts with the sky whether it's white or black.
But I want to be more than that.
I don’t want to
like I do when the sky is light,
my ends interlaced with its beginnings as loveless lovers.
No, I want
like the darkness brings, the exhilarating pop of smoky chrome
against my outline.
So I dream of the heat to cause that mixing--
the storm necessary for my beauty,
the darkness and anger and ferocity of frowning clouds,
and I wake up burning.
Julia Kroin is a 9th grade student at Rye Country Day School. She enjoys writing in her free time and is currently working on a novel. She also writes for RCDS's school newspaper, as well as its literary magazine. In addition to her writing, Julia plays the bass guitar and will be joining her school’s jazz band next year. She loves taking her dog, D.J, to the beach whenever she can.
In Your Dreamwake, A Whale
Blue bleed through the glassy essence, wakelife into dreampivot: the glacier will examine you now. Follow the stream of pink quartz petrified in once molten granite. Faceted on the inside, the chamber holds you in a hum. What do you bring here? What will you take away, complicit in the melt? All your plastic convenience, the gravest.
The dolphins were afraid for us. We didn’t know to be afraid. From the far shore we launched our red and yellow kayaks into the sound. Black paddles, our waterfeet, sliced air, coaxed water, propelling us toward immensity. Dolphins crossed our path. Auspicious, we thought.
On a pebbled beach we stashed the red and yellow plastic vessels, tripped along the river through birch to a quartz pavement. We nearly turned back; it was further than we thought. The glacier receded as we advanced, didn’t want to be reached by us. Under the arch, a sapphire cave. Midsummer blue drips, crackle, a tunnel to the sky; a frequency that thrummed, reading our silent rhythms for their historical resonance.
Dreamthrum of the watertwin, the whale in your mirrorwake seeks passage to the heart. Melt, freeze, cryofracture; cycle of your spires. Split by water expansion, your expansion; hollow blue welcome ushering the polyphonic wingrush, of feathers whispering the down draft, the down. Dolphins ride you home.
Gayle Burgoyne is writer, creative coach and reformed management consultant who lives in London, UK. She loves to explore the strangeness of human reality through art and mountain sports, and writes while watching the foxes who live under the shed.
My Affair Exposed
Blue ice, her eyes staring into mine
I try to look away but cannot—anger
deep within synapses, sometimes hidden.
but always dangerously there. I keep
Jackie Langetieg has published poems in journals and anthologies and won awards, such as WWA’s Jade Ring contest, Bards Chair, and Wisconsin Academy Poem of the Year. She has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has written six books of poems, most recently, Snowfall and a memoir, Filling the Cracks with Gold. www.jackiella.wordpress.com
Licking a snowcone
Fresh from the ground around me
A frosty summer.
Vast blue icebergs glide
On the endless silent sea
Bearing away dreams.
Blue ice, cold, silence
And glittering ice crystals
Nivedita Karthik is a graduate in Immunology from the University of Oxford. She is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer and published poet. She also loves writing stories. Her poetry has appeared in Glomag, The Society of Classical Poets, The Epoch Times, The Poet (Christmas, Childhood, Faith, Friends & Friendship, and Adversity issues), The Ekphrastic Review, Visual Verse, The Bamboo Hut, Eskimopie, The Sequoyah Cherokee River Journal, and Trouvaille Review. Her microfiction has been published by The Potato Soup Literary Journal. She also regularly contributes to the open mics organized by Rattle Poetry. She currently resides in Gurgaon, India, and works as a senior associate editor. Her first book of poetry, She: The reality of womanhood, was recently published by Notion Press (available on Amazon).
The elements oppose us, my husband says, shivering harder than the wet dog scrabbling at his lap. Perched on the kitchen benches, our feet dangling in flood water, I brace the overhead cupboard doors against the onslaught of the disgruntled cat. Her travelling cage floated away in the night while we slept, lulled liquid by the silent river’s rise.
Curling into the uneasy sling of the folding cot, I hunch a shoulder against the machinery grumble of the evacuation centre. My husband jostles his bed onto mine. His weight on the stacked sidebars tips me dizzy and I brace against the tumble. Forget land values, we’ll never own a patch of dirt. Frog-foot words, cool against my clammy ear. I fret about the cat, exiled to the ark made of a floating restaurant. I recall a parrot huddled in the hostess booth, the teenaged glower in her security camera eyes.
With a thick hook, by lamplight, I crochet nets from videotape. My husband paces our assigned shipping container like a bunkered war criminal. Condensation beads on the metal walls, trickling in runnels, soaking the bare-board floor. Everything except my mouth is damp. Unmoored, the dog searches our faces for landmarks. The cat, holding the cupboard doors against me in her turn, has joined the mutiny led by the African Grey. I wish them well.
We could inhabit an entire ice floe in the Antarctic, my husband says. There are jobs available, collecting scientific data. I crinkle loops of tape around my rust-stained fingers. Most of the cartridges lost their labels, soaked or faded into obscurity. Maybe the magnetic dots imperceptible to my finger tips are Bergman's gravestone face, turning from Bogart on the tarmac. Maybe a drowned neighbour’s sex tape.
Morgana Macleod lives and writes on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. She has short stories published in several hard-copy anthologies you've never heard of, but you might have seen Thumbnail 5 and 6? Her work can also be found online at sites including New Flash Fiction Review, Medium and outofthegutteronline.com. Still buzzed by a recent Pushcart nomination, she's toying with writing a novel but concerned about the limits of her own attention span. Feel free to stalk her on Facebook (Morgana MacLeod) and Twitter @morganamacleod.
Swim I swim in current swirls
each day sunrise smiles upon
great glacier ribbed vertebrae
to peaks – wind hewn ice art
sculptured shapes above water-
line icy water I turn and whirl
chunk breaks off splash I see
diminished shadows against sky
white-blue ice a new tunnel
They go explore new passage
beneath beyond ribbed wall I’ve
known dare I venture forth
peer up precarious peak I fear
groaning cracking swim I swim
water warmer sink to cold depths
will all glacier fall to ruin swept
to sea where will I swim then?
Julie A. Dickson
Julie A. Dickson is a poet who finds peacefulness in water, sitting by a lake, stream or ocean. She writes of nature but also conflict and challenge, such as bullying and animal rights. Dickson holds a BPS in Behavioral Science: Gerontology from UNH and works in-home with elderly. Her work appears in New Verse News, Misfit and The Ekphrastic Review, among other journals and in full length on Amazon.
Why Be Blue?
An ice giant lay down and deliquesced,
the only thing remaining now a spine
and iliac crest. Did he fight or did he acquiesce,
his discs like zipper teeth, like columns in a line?
He yielded to the warming earth and fell. Why fight
against reordering, one’s elements cupped and shaken
like jacks before scattering? Why be blue in the light,
or why be blue at being blue? Taken
as a whole, any time at all is good,
any life, any being. So few are, you know.
Slimming, meagering even more into the flood,
he goes. Soon, he’ll disappear. Soon, I’ll follow.
Perhaps he’ll, we’ll, leave some echo,
a distant researcher will see it, and say, Oh!
Devon Balwit walks in all weather. Her most recent collections are Rubbing Shoulders with the Greats [Seven Kitchens Press 2020] and Dog-Walking in the Shadow of Pyongyang [Nixes Mate Books, 2021]. https://pelapdx.wixsite.com/devonbalwitpoet
An icy mitre
Rough-hewed above the Bishop’s gate
A welcome breach
In a fortress colonnade
The peaceful waters; reflecting, rippling
Foretell no storm nor ill
Yet sail with caution should you venture there
For, by the morning, it will be no more
Yet, the camera
Preserved its state for us to know
And ponder what might stand in stead
When next the morning comes
John Pettett has followed Caponigro's work for many years and is now interested in ekphrasis as well.
glacial blue's the colour of deep penetrating cold, first
absorbed through your vision then that biting chill you
cannot forget – long before the snowflakes fall
the frigid air freezes any exposed patch of skin in
seconds. It's the sound of ice candling that I love -
a crinkle-tinkle, bell-like music from shards with
pillared crystal structures and the specific blueness Antarctica
has a monopoly on. As we sailed onward the ice colonnades and
archway appeared in front of our boat, like magic. And then
we began to wonder what might be through there - it
could be the entry to a yet undiscovered domain that breaks
down the barriers of reality, because in this place your
head can never trust your eyes, and much less so your heart.
Author's note: this is a Golden Shovel poem based on the quotation “first you fall in love with Antarctica, and then it breaks your heart” attributed to Kim Stanley. In a Golden Shovel poem the last word of each line makes up the chosen phrase.
Emily Tee spent her working life wrangling numbers. Now retired, she has recently started writing poetry. She has had several pieces published in Ekphrastic Review challenges and will have some others in print later this year with other publications. She lives in England.
Orchestra at the End of the World
Listen – the earth is gnawing
Don’t you hear?
Splintering the ice.
Can’t you hear her?
day and night.
Listen – the earth is crying
Don’t you hear?
Symphony of blues.
Can’t you hear her?
Depths of melancholy
to drown in.
Listen – the earth is screaming,
writhing in pain.
Don’t you hear?
Can’t you hear her?
from her jaws.
Listen – the earth is asking,
a question over and over.
Don’t you hear?
Can’t you hear her?
Waiting on an answer,
Siobhán Mc Laughlin
Siobhán is a poet and creative writing facilitator from Co. Donegal in Ireland. Her poems have appeared previously in The Ekphrastic Review and on the latest episode of the TERcets podcast. Her work has also appeared in The Honest Ulsterman, Drawn to the Light Press, The Poetry Village, The Trouvaille Review, The Waxed Lemon and more. She is currently working towards her first collection, distracted by cats and coffee.
The blue/white sea dragon stills
on the inky surface of its habitat,
but above and below are meaningless. Timeless.
The picture it makes could be of anything,
all things, as the creature that exists
in this moment cedes itself,
incrementally, to the heat of our glances,
the heat thrown off by humanity wandering
ignorant of its very existence. Its exquisite form,
monolithic as it is, is temporary, The neck arches
over the water without a keystone, snout
in the distance resting. The undulating scales
of its shadowy flank, age like Grecian columns.
The bulk of it is hidden, like a sleeping volcano,
feet perhaps seeking the very core of the planet.
One day it will be something else, and
further ahead, like all of us, it will become what it was,
its constituent parts, molecules floating in the dark,
waiting upon ripples of gravitational forces,
preparing to become, once more.
Rebecca Dempsey’s recent work has featured in Shot Glass Journal, Ink Pantry and Elsewhere Journal. Rebecca lives in Melbourne, Australia, and can be found at WritingBec.com
Letter to the Heart of a Man who Still Mourns a Revoked Future
I can love you better than she can,
can chip and chisel the pockets of cornflower
into ice blue.
in this mirage of dark water—a queen
with her king, their castle not too far behind them?
And maybe it’s foot soldiers beside them?
“Or maybe they’re ghosts,” you seethe.
With all the fluting and fillets of your heart,
I still can
Better than she can, I can drown and never run
Storm your storm clouds
and I’ll fit you into every ripple of me.
Build a distant archway
and I’ll tongue what little salt there is into atrium.
Footnote: In architecture, an atrium is a large open-air or skylight-covered space surrounded by a building. Atria were a common feature in Ancient Roman dwellings, providing light and ventilation to the interior. Wikipedia 2. An atrium is a chamber of the heart that receives blood from the veins and forces it by muscular contraction into a ventricle.
Ahja Fox is a Colorado native who has editorial, hosting, and teaching experience through Art of Storytelling, Poetix University, Copper Nickel, and Homology Lit. She has been published in various online and print journals like Five:2:One, LEVELER, Driftwood Press, Okay Donkey, SWWIM and more (including various anthologies). Nominated by several journals for Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize, Ahja has finally gotten up the nerve to draft two poetry manuscripts.
growlers & bergy bits
of polar ice
Donna-Lee Smith is a writer in Montreal, Canada.
The story of looking back is a long one.
Here, ice. Ice in the shape of your once-woman’s face. Your face is looking back, hair a cascade of frozen shape. Ice like cats’ mouths dipped, or pillars from some lost city. Water the colour of dreams and beneath, your body, eroded by salt and water.
The stories of fleeing are long too, painful and happening –
In flight, your man ahead, you look up for a moment to the darkening sky, drop, at your feet, the last loaf of bread, which you grabbed, wrapped in paper, shoved in your bag as you ran out of the house, everything else left – hairbrush, his good shoes, your wedding portrait – and up the hill and away.
Over time, salt becomes ice, the sharp edges of your dark hair soften, cheekbones more chiseled by wind. Shadows blue in the shade. What was land is now water and ice now water as humans flee the world they have meted out.
The story of looking back –
Did you look back, she asks herself again, her thoughts clouds, cold, a loose knot, and mist. Or did you merely stop, bend to retrieve the bread, let your hair fall forward. You know, she tells herself, as she replays the moment again and again, sees her own eyes slide through the veil of hair to look at tortured bodies, the fine pillars of the city become bone and ice. You looked and as you flung your hair aside to hide your looking, became solid, granular, blood unmade, a pillar.
Thoughts ripple through her, her body and hair merge to water. She knows there is little left of her or the city. Pillars that will melt in this great human reckoning. Iced canopy of hair frozen to the deep, the deep flawed and breaking.
Yvonne Blomer (she/her) lives in Victoria, BC on Lək̓ʷəŋən territory. The Last Show on Earth, her fifth book of poetry was published with Caitlin Press in 2022. She was Victoria’s fourth poet laureate. www.yvonneblomer.com
She will never speak again. As the light fades, she juts her chin forward sphinx-like, glares out of the window at the gathering night.
Her daughters attempt to plump up her crumpled pillow; she lashes out without warning, then freezes, gasps; a slow, shallow sigh.
They look on, feeling helpless, desperate to act; whispering to her, they recall their summers of sea pinks and cockles when she would lead them from the farm, down the field to the shore for a picnic; those times when they paddled at high tide. Out of their phones, they summon a pale, monochrome image: sandcastles, buckets, spades, seaweed, seagulls, mud flats, wet feet. In this picture, they are squinting; the sun must have been in their eyes though she is laughing as she holds onto them; they lean towards her, grinning.
She stirs in the bed, glances at the photo; her fingers start to scratch and pick at scabs, pinch loose skin; she scowls, pulling at her nightdress. They stroke her hand; it is paper-thin, ice-cube cold. She tugs herself free, makes a weak fist, shifts her body to face the darkening sky, senses waves crashing over her….
In silence, they wait.
Based in the United Kingdom, Dorothy Burrows enjoys writing flash fiction, short plays and poetry. Her fiction has been published in various journals, including The Ekphrastic Review. She tweets: @rambling_dot
In one life, I am waking
to the dull ebb & flow of time,
dragging my fingertips along the
evenly corrugated walls in a heat-less
home. In another, the sky thunders w/
promise & a roiling wind buffets each
balustrade of my own making w/
lust, envy & artistry.
I am awake & I am dreaming.
I suppose I am alive.
The floor is littered w/ chances
& I’ll let myself drown
before I walk through that door.
Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum
Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum is a writer and teacher from Wasilla, Alaska. She currently serves as CEO of Red Sweater Press, President of Alaska Writers Guild, and Editor-in-Chief of The Poets' Touchstone, a publication of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire. Learn more about her and read more of her work at caitbuxbaum.com.
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice.
“The Wild Iris” by Louise Gluck
I’ve been numb so long
beneath a terrible weight
lost to myself
scoured simple as the moon
a wash of warmth
this white shroud frays
I slough sheets of ice into the black sea
something trembles cracks
a glacier slips my shoulder
snow rosy with algae
I remember a green time
leafy shadows rain
Marion Starling Boyer
Marion Starling Boyer’s Antarctica poems are from Ice Hours, selected by Carol V. Davis for the 2021 Wheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Michigan State University Press. Boyer is the author of four other poetry collections. A professor emeritus for Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Boyer lives in Twinsburg, Ohio and leads workshops for Lit Cleveland and Lit Youngstown.
It was the hot pink in apricot,
Orange in lemongrass and
The glacier in turquoise,
Colors that mixed into the flowers
As I lay in the yard behind the porch,
No longer in my dream.
The darkness was fading-
Entering the hole, a magical abode
Of families together again,
Of scars cleaned, miseries forgotten.
The tides that once were higher than my reach,
Now settled to a peaceful stream, pristine.
The time was turning immortal-
Seagulls collecting from near and afar
Gliding on the waters,
Arriving at the shore like a plane on the sea.
The cherry blossoms in wait, all the way
To a sudden secret's tree.
Abha Das Sarma
An engineer and management consultant by profession, Abha Das Sarma enjoys writing the most. Besides having a blog of over 200 poems (http://dassarmafamily.blogspot.com), her poems have appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, Spillwords, Verse-Virtual, Visual Verse, Sparks of Calliope, Trouvaille Review, here and elsewhere. Having spent her growing up years in small towns of northern India, she currently lives in Bengaluru.
"Down to my boat, my boat
To see it off, and glad at the thought."
W.S. Merwin, Departure's Girlfriend
"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice..."
Robert Frost, Fire and Ice
"...the poem [Fire and Ice] is a compression
of Dante's Inferno...like the downward funnel
of the rings of hell."
John N. Serio
"Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times I could not find a friend
But I always thought I'd see you, Baby
One more time again --"
James Taylor, Fire and Rain
The figures were frozen in a dream, statue-like the woman with her arms raised,
reaching out to the man who already has one foot off the pier, on the steps --
the gang plank -- leading to a boat that would take him from the ancient world
of fiction to the perplexing reality of contemporary non-fiction, illustrated
by faces that could be altered, digitally, for Facebook if the story they were living
had to be discontinued because things never went the right way for Departure's
Girlfriend, whose anonymous identity had been doubled by an invisible twin
who gives ridiculous advice -- the devil made her do it, he supposed --
sitting on his shoulder opposite the Angel who always dressed in italics
for poetry, Departure's conversations with his Girlfriend when she's fictional.
Non-fiction was expensive. He'd gone over budget for trips and equipment
and when he'd reached out, filled with longing to the empty side of his lonely
hotel bed, he heard the Devil whispering C'mon Baby, Light my fire!
He assumed it was his campfire on the night they couldn't communicate
by cell phone after an argument; the night he'd heard the serpent-hiss of history,
and froze in fear as a black adder -- gold-gilded by his flashlight -- had wrapped
its coils around his backpack in memory of Cleopatra, a statuesque shadow
standing in the Greco-Roman doorway of a palace as he, a voice in his own future,
tried to price boat tickets to Paradise Bay and Harbor.... Was it a dream to wake up
to the ice-blue beauty of ice, fallen, a if from heaven in the shape of an archway?
To see how nature, as silent as the air in Antarctica had frozen a piece of the sky,
a spiritual space where one might pray or marry blue as ice torn from the hem
of Madonna's robe; and blue as the eyes of Departure's Girlfriend, reflecting
the ocean, filled with light when she saw him. If the ice were transformed to rock
and stone by some magical act of earthly wizardry she might be waiting for him
under Darwin's Arch; or become The Morrigu a tri-partite goddess, walking
across the Irish Sea to Scotland's Highlands on The Giant's Causeway if she
thought to leave him for the famous Finn McCool. She knew her dear Departure
had never sailed away by chance because the world needed sudden fiction -- fast --
before the ice was melted by their passion.
Laurie Newendorp, often honoured by the Ekphrastic Challenges, has begun to recognize the names of others who appear, regularly, in The Ekphrastic Review. Her recent book, When Dreams Were Poems, 2020, shows, as do Caponigro's dual photographs of Antarctica, Dreaming, and Waking, how closely related are fiction and non-fiction in the artist's creative imagination. Her character, "Departure," from W.S. Merwin's poem, "Departure's Girlfriend," has made other appearances in her poetry. Once her companion in South America, this is Departure's first trip to Antarctica.
you look different
the frigid peacefulness
as you rise from the ripples
and offer passage
i see you as you were
i see you as you are
i see you
as you are seen
waiting for me
without the other
Sophia Ferello is a college student from Massachusetts, writing for fun while they work to attain their Bachelor's in Culinary Arts. They have never been published before, but they have been writing since they were very young and are excited to finally put their work out into the world.
Quiet is the night at 2:00 AM
Its silence thick like jam rolling
off a knife
Here at my desk, by grace of chance, I sit and
write… looking out black window panes in
North America- no bombs in air
Rise and fall, rise and fall, my breath and pen
the only movement here.
On another Continent
men make munitions smear across the sky
Flames disintegrating homes and dreams
in a land of bread and music
Forever silenced: mother’s voices
burned buildings falling walls and windows
Children left alone to scream in
war raged bloodied streets.
And then there is Antarctica…
Palatial with the sun’s slow six- month rise
Waking to peaceful glorious blues that sparkle in
architectural patience of ice
Millennia serenity…as ancient and scrolled as acanthus leaves
because here, here on this Continent
no man formally resides.
Susan Tenney is an Award-winning director and choreographer who loves to write poetry. Her ekphrastic poem Saturday Morning Thoughts at Your Doorway Watching You Sleep was chosen by The Poet's Corner in November 2021 for their Poetry in Motion collaboration with the Page Gallery of Camden Maine and her poem Elegy for T. for their event Love Unmasked in February 2021. She recently completed her first Chapbook: Objects and Other Living Things.
Ice That Dreamed of Life As Soil
(to John Paul Caponigro Regarding Antarctica Dreaming)
Illusion formed to dupe the eye
of intellect it leads awry,
is image, though of sight unseen,
you've wrought as ruse that you convene,
though artificial, still as art
of "is" and "isn't" to impart
suggestion that the truth might lie
somewhere between "Why not?" and "Why?"
essential to our science quest
and to our faith that fear would wrest
and to the arts that mark our trail
both as the pleasure and travail
of moments that are left enshrined
for those ahead by those behind
like ice that dreamed of life as soil
where limb and leaf could root and moil.
Portly Bard: Old man. Ekphrastic fan.
Prefers to craft with sole intent
of verse becoming complement...
...and by such homage being lent...
ideally also compliment...
Ekphrastic joy comes not from praise
for words but from returning gaze
far more aware of fortune art
becomes to eyes that fathom heart.
This Shifting Planet
Time stands to attention, poised
at the foot of a Titan,
its hands moving over
the frozen lungs of an ancient land mass
with the wheeze and rasp of the dying.
I cover my eyes blindly, seared
by the glacial weight of ice,
its opal sheen pulsing in ribbles
stained with the gloss of crackled-glaze,
a ceramic, freshly cooled from kiln.
For eons balance has hung
solid in the cyan air
its breath of cut crystal a warning
before Earth’s underbelly
felt its spine slacken, buckle
under the sheer mass of it
melting, retreating, leaving
snakes of silt in its gravelled wake
to reveal a single feeble reed
its voice a whimper as the planet shifts.
Kate Young lives in England and has been passionate about poetry since childhood. Her poems have appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, The Poetry Village, Words for the Wild, Poetry on the Lake, Alchemy Spoon, Dreich, The Poet and Fly on the Wall. She has had poems in two Scottish Writers Centre chapbooks. Her work has also featured in the anthologies Places of Poetry and Write Out Loud. Her pamphlet A Spark in the Darkness is due to be published by Hedgehog Press. Find her on Twitter @Kateyoung12p
The Fateful Tale of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, RN
--conjured by the art of John Paul Caponigro:
Antarctica Waking / Dreaming
Twin photos, blue as the Antarctic Sea,
as if a Greco-Roman architect
designed, awake or dreaming, what we see.
They brought to mind how Nature tossed and wrecked
adventurers, as if a toss of dice.
The quest for glory was its own defect.
Dante knew that Hell is cased in ice,
as cold would kill a frozen man and dog.
Even ships were shattered in this vice.
We have their charts and finely scripted log
for places where a misstep or a fall
would blanket with a trace-erasing fog.
On Exeter Cathedral's silent wall
the sister placed the sledging flag of Scott
who died in one last gamble for it all.
to do not what he willed but what he ought,
while guessing how this fatal trek might close,
barely failing at the goal he sought.
Will we freeze to death or mount a pyre,
a poet asked; but when each breath just froze,
did he still think his world would end in fire?
R.W.Rhodes taught global religions for many years at Kenyon College. His poetry and translations have appeared in a number of literary journals, online and in print. While visiting Exeter Cathedral in England, he saw the sledging flag from Capt. Robert Falcon Scott's first exploration of the Antarctic. The photo and digitally altered twin of Antarctic ice done by John Paul Caponigro, opened up dream-like memories of that experience for him.