Posted in Antarctica


The rumours were swirling
heard by many ears
the source of more than one
one drink too many joke.
Unlike most it was true
a woman would be wintering over.

Her selection a triumph for ordinary women
not vivacious or pretty
next size up from medium
looking exactly what she was – small town New Zealand.

The local paper reported she felt lucky
she told the interviewer
the motor camp where she cleaned
had found winter no longer viable
was about to become summer only
work in her hometown hard to find in the hardest season
perfect timing she said.

An inspired choice she worked hard and fitted in well
romance was found which folded many faces with delight
marriage and emigration followed
a fairy story of sorts.
Her husband already one flight up the corporate stairwell.

A green card gave access to greenbacks and greener fields
we worked on the same programme for different employers
ours was an aberration
an historic émigré cameo that grew into bit part
now a supporting role
nationalisation had noticed and wanted it back.
It was a young person’s occupation and after seven years
my tolerance had grown impatient.

Still there was some grief to see it ending.
In the last week of my last time on the great southern continent
we spoke our farewells.
I told her of my sadness on behalf of others
for the loss of opportunity to earn good money
finance dreams
and visit a part of the world almost inaccessible.
Without a flicker of emotion she told me
there was a lot of unemployment in the United States.

For the back story click Backstage

Posted in Antarctica


The director was retiring
after a long almost benign dictatorship
not before time murmured closed palms.
His had been an old-fashioned reign.
he was a man’s man
and to him this was a man’s place
It often wore the air of a fraternity house
the order was changing, this he knew, but his resistance did not.

Women had been a reluctant addition a few years prior
for summer only
permission with a smirk
good for decoration
and hunting.
Now career’s long flight was landing
to succession
or legacy ?

Two decades of insignificant worthiness
solid and unspectacular
a heavy volume
holding open the door
permitting memory to escape.
One last hand. Immortality trumps prejudice.

A quickly written paperback
light and enlightened
might turn bestseller and acclaimed film
The polar winter about to fall
a woman added to the cast
his name in sharp focus
leading the dress march of credits.

For the back story click Backstage

Posted in Antarctica


Aluminium and rectangular
I had never seen one
but knew immediately – closing shadow in a dark street
camera flash alert to a different future.
The doctor said I could go
the plaster cast hard enough.
I could hear the removers behind the curtains.

Good news often takes the scenic route
bad news the expressway – always.
My workmates already knew. And how.
A big night out
very much worse for wear
his buddies had put him to bed
to sleep it off. Forever.

In the passenger shack
the command pilot briefed travellers
demonstrating the fitting of life jackets
immersion suits and ear plugs
how to exit the aircraft on the ground
and in water.


“ tonight we’re carrying a body
a Hercules is a working aircraft
you’re free to move around the cargo hold
. . . . . . just think how you’d feel if it was your brother.”

For the back story click Backstage