Posted in Antarctica


Sunday evening. Steak and lobster
everybody and their sister comes to supper
Sunday is for church and rest
except essential services
water plant, power plant and kitchen.
The unblessed mess workers
the socially averse, the shy and the misfits
rewarded with duty at the busiest meal
on the busiest day.

2000 steaks 1.5 per person
1000 lobster less than one per person
should either be depleted. Riot.
best not to think about. Or hide.
After cleanup
dishes washed, tables wiped, carpet vacuumed
the weekly science lecture.

Visiting experts talk of research
the secrets of
Antarctic marine life, geology, magnetic physics.
A man walks to the front
taking the microphone from the guest speaker
“ they’ve found them.”

Droning cacophony of kitchen
cocoons worker bees from bush telegraph.
Two employees of the civilian contractor
taking a Sunday afternoon walk take a short cut
depart from the flagged route
and vanish.
Searchers find footsteps
freefalling to a python squeeze crevasse.

17 hours were needed to extract one
23 hours for the second
both died shortly afterward.
The season is three weeks old.

For the back story click Backstage



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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