30 May 2012

Poem Near the Beardmore Glacier

Here is a short poem that I wrote a couple of years ago.  I find it interesting for a couple of reasons.

Firstly it relates to a moment in 1959 in Antarctica when I sat on a ridge near the Beardmore Glacier and went digging in my pack for a bit of paper.  In the map pocket I found an old letter from a girl friend of some twelve or so months previously, one who'd been part of my life for about three years. As you do, you get over these things. Anyway I thought it appropriate to bury the letter and the past on the spot.

'Somewhere a Letter'    (Beardmore Gl. on left, Hood Gl. on right)
The other interesting thing about this poem is that it seems to work in most ways I re-order the lines. Not all ways, in fact with ten lines there are 362880 ways they can be ordered 10 factorial (or something like that) my maths friends tell me! Here is the poem, written in response to the recollection of that moment.

Cold Words

on a ridge
a cairn
known only to me
forever buried
under a pile of rocks
85 south
cold words
in blue ink, I recall
her last letter.