Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Arctic

we stand with our slips
of pink paper
waving at civil servants
little chitties
heavy on their tilt
and scupper not skating
lines of us
trembling like a taut wire
hit by a big stick —
we have walked for miles
in muffled silence
our grief insular
we listen
to the din of a planet
through its blow hole
we listen
to stunned storms
rain-pelted doors
that flew back at us;

we listen
to jeering townsman
spiked tenants
home owners and keepers
the cram of lorries
delivering the lost
to canvassed shelters
and it needs scarcely
to be said
that we listened
to the crack in the ice —
something came up
dark as a whale’s eye
striking us senseless
and with one vast gulp
a mouth of water
swallowed us whole.

© Anne Marie Butler

Inside One of Houston’s Improvised Shelters

Annie is a published poet and landscape artist. She lives in a rural village of west Wales. She has a passion for language, her descriptive skills bring economy and colour.