There is nothing pedantic
digging out of an ice-hut
derelict for fifty years.

The primus' hiss,
men stamping feet
under the steam of breathing ponies

snow flickering into every hole and corner.
Now they're blackened musculature
too cold to rot

their explorers' tent thirty metres under
iridescent suns. Leather straps
curl into one another

like snakes mummified together.
History's eaten by frostbite, conserved
down to the last metal cans.

Snow columns
on a biblical white desert,
dry valleys desiccating for all time

seals' bones scorched, froze
into aesthete whiteness,
a purity the crusaders would admire.

First time I saw trees again
I cried, because
they were like evergreen ghosts.

Robert James Berry

If you've any comments on this poem, Robert James Berry would be pleased to hear from you.