Ice, spun like veils

Of muslin voile

Skims lacy trails

Like pancake coil.

These pasta strands

In icy sauce

While watched disband

Til windy force

Cold, crispens chips

That gratinate

And flake round ships.

They irritate

And sternly slice

With knifely bows

This scouring ice.

For endless hours

They crunch and press

With sturdy wedge,

Floe depth unguessed.

Unkempt at edge

Some shaky stacks

Like LEGO blocks

Have egg shell cracks

And interlocks.

While bergs on tides

With one eighth tips

Will lean lopsides

To menace ships.

Wide inky deeps

Are Neptune’s court,

Some boats he keeps,

The men they brought.

His wind wild howls

His seas stay freezed

While gripey bowels

Squat unappeased.

Antarctica 1996