Posted in Antarctica

Expert Witness

Sunday night
after the steak and lobster
after cheesecake or pecan pie
after the soft serve ice cream has been refilled
and fresh coffee brewed
at 7:00 p.m –  the weekly science lecture.

Science as necessary to Antarctica
as embassies to the CIA
an excuse for a presence.
Physicists, geologists, marine biologists
from universities of California and Connecticut
Arizona, Alaska and Florida
all submit proposals to Washington
the lucky spinning summer sojourn to career.

All successful proposals become projects
all projects have an alpha numeric prefix
and a PI
PI not a gumshoe shoe auditor
from the Division of Polar Programmes
Principal Investigator.
All PI’s have to pay the piper
with a Sunday lecture
describing their work, findings and conclusions.

He had first come here in 1960/61
as a young graduate student
now back 25 years later
a marine biologist and expert in starfish.
This, his first lecture
it is interesting and well received.

In 60/61 the program primitive and small
people kept asking him
what was it like back then?
He had a few slides posted down
so for the final five minutes
he would show a little of McMurdo when young.

Same time, same place
one year later.
The marine biologist comes to the podium
telling the audience of last year’s lecture
50 minutes of research
five minutes of nostalgia
his had been voted best lecture
just one small adjustment needed
so this year
he’d, “got rid of all that starfish stuff.”

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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