Posted in Antarctica

Folk Law

Admiration of rogues
almost universally embedded in the human condition
folk heroes
those getting in the face of the establishment
raising a single finger to conformity.

everyone in McMurdo was – or sly.
Rules. Multi-layers of dense prohibition
reduced everything to the lowest common denominator.
A direct breach resulted in termination
a challenge excluded reemployment.

Perhaps that’s why we were avid of vicarious confrontation
tales of bold transgressions from seasons faded
passed down as family heirlooms
artefacts curated on perpetual descent

“Oh, that story,” sighed the boss of 12 years
about the worker he dismissed for climbing Mount Erebus
Mount Erebus 25 miles distant and 13,000 feet high
a challenge to anyone with a mountaineering impulse
and not to be trespassed
a double challenge.

Yes, the person concerned was a mountaineer of ability
and may very well have climbed illegally
but the truth was far less subversive.
The alpinist worked as a janitor
his supervisor couldn’t always find him
and raised his concerns with the management.
The boss had a sound understanding of evasion
and located him asleep in a storage locker.

A warning was issued and instructions for no repeat.
a recurrence and termination.
He wasn’t sacked for climbing the boss exhaled again
“ it was for sleeping on the job.
If possible it would have been for stupidity.”

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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