Under the Glacier

[Listen to the poem]

In a dream I climb Mount Erebus, a world away from Etna.

Shackleton’s South Pole crew is plodding up an ice sheet,

trapping buntings in the snow. Sight lines to Terror, Bird,

and Terra Nova, up above Ross Sea archipelagos where

blasted sperm whales lie with bellies full of Legos, plastic

netting, flower pots, and hawser rope. Up into lava lakes

we trudge till we reach the peak where pink dawn breaks.

I pick up an all-white tiger cub and roll him down a slope,

to save a hoard of Macedonian children all ushering out

of the crater of a car bomb, begging me to sip leek soup.

Up in a caldera I meet HnallÞóra and a fairy ram, as they

try to escape in a red Corvair with two of the foundlings.

I grasp the boiling tailpipe and hold on as she heads for

underground, a glacier leading to the center of the earth.