Posted in Antarctica

End of the Line

Scott, Robert Falcon
Naval midshipman
then Captain
then Antarctica.

1910 –13. ‘Scot’s last expedition’ – there were only two
death by starvation
half a day from 1 ton of food
four days north of plan
Oates, strong voiced against deviation
“Sir, I’m afraid you’ll come to regret not taking my advice”
he went outside… where One Ton should have been
symmetry: for both.

The flight is delayed
and again
finally at 1 a.m.
Two colours white and blue
a house with no walls
blue sky ceiling
white floor
ice and sky.
South, until there is only North.

“45 minutes ground time
props need to keep turning
entry and exit through the cargo ramp only.”

Obligation takes me straight to ceremonial pole
and requires to walk around the world
cold: like never before.
Inside
breakfast is beginning
coffee just made
the cook shakes my hand – “congratulations”
offers a cinnamon roll
and another.

90° south January 1912
“great God this is an awful place.” Diary entry : RF Scott

90° south November 1990
coffee, pastry, and warmth.

90° south January 1912
“now for the run home – I wonder if we can make it.” Diary entry : RF Scott

90° south November 1990
“ all pax board now . . . we’ll have you back to McMurdo by lunchtime.”

For the back story click Backstage

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Author:

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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