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
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Posted in Antarctica


Antarctica has one more post. A new volume, Death, begins on Friday February 12. Death the point at which the frequent contradiction of theory and observation converge to absolute absence. A membrane through which loss passes to non-existence, the space occupied by a person, entity, emotion, ideal or hope that is gone and gone forever. A collection of (un)poems which are reflections of an audience of one. A person holding and slowly turning an urn of ashes, thinking about what is, what was, what might have been and the slow formed acceptance of cutting the cards and drawing the joker.

Posted in Antarctica

Black and White

He had been christened Roger
everyone called him Mad Dog
not a derivative of his personality
but favourite drink
he was fond of it.

A large man
tall and solid
six foot three and 250 pounds.

He was the boss my first winter
affable . . . most of the time
with good taste in music
and not so good in humour.

Still, he had one endearing trick.
When something went against us
much did in food service
he would leap onto a table
a griddle
a chair
or in the absence of a platform
stand where he was
bend at the waist
hands slid down the back of his legs
head pitched into his knees
“ come on, “ he’d roar, like a conjugating lion

It was hilarious – it wouldn’t have been if he’d been white.

For the back story click Backstage
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