Posted in Antarctica


Work finishes at 2 p.m.
back ache clocks off 30 minutes later.
The boss has a clipboard
holding up calming palms to furrowed brow
“we have a room for you.”
The fourth in six days
Permanent – until end of season in late February
or I break the rules.

Antarctica was full of practical jokes
new people easy prey
being encouraged to
sign up for a shower
avoid drinking too much libido suppressing water
walk to Hut Point to see turtles lay eggs
not to forget milk powder when mixing iced tea.

The door is reluctant – a waist sucked squeeze
the room frozen in time and space
filled with winter blown snow
admitted by duplicitous cracks
expanding like popcorn and freezing

Feigned amusement
insincere mea culpa owns up
chuckling at the boss for the real room
acknowledging the trick of a snow filled one.
He is talking with three burly forklift operators
his look says, ‘far out.’
the other three telegraph

Tolerance speaks, “there’s probably a shovel in the lounge.”
He turns to the other three
eyebrows raised and complicit.
The biggest and hairiest
bends at the knees
grunts providing acoustic corroboration of Darwin
accompany shovelling motions.



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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