Posted in Antarctica


The old hands said Antarctica never forgot
after a while you belonged
and part of it belonged to you
anyone who had done 5 or 7 years
or a winter
was a member
memory couldn’t identify the exact point
one day you just were.

People told me I would miss it
my thoughts would spin South
as a magnet to North.

The first October 1st
I paid no attention to the first flight
I turned my back to the other initiation rituals.
History : Control. Alt. Delete.

It was my first visit to the New Zealand base
our workers the previous year had behaved badly – very badly
had left an odour of hooliganism everywhere
especially at this little outpost of New Zealand.
We required permission to go beyond the front desk
I needed to see the Officer in Charge
to arrange to sit my examinations
I asked a man standing in the foyer
he was curt : “ I’m not the receptionist mate.”

Two weeks into my first absent season
a helicopter crash
three dead
including the ‘not receptionist.’
Antarctica could be praised, or cursed
but would not tolerate being ignored.

For the back story click Backstage
If you like a piece of writing (or the site) please share.



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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s