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Source: Adults

Author: Tanya Withers

Title: South

Exposure: Cape Crozier, 1911.
Query: and what of the penguins?

a record breaker
The highest driest
cooler - shaker
the windiest continent
on Earth.

F f f r r r r e e z i n g!

An endless
winter’s night
frigid cold
ice snow black
three set out
would they
make it

Who cares?

Temperatures down
to minus seventy
sledges hauled
over grunge-a-plenty
for a gruelling 60 miles

Wiles away the hours

And the reason for
their expedition?
Penguin egg acquisition


and starving
they eventually
trawl it
and steal the eggs
before being h i t
by a t e r r i f y i n g
as is the norm
on explorations

Wouldn't they just know it?

Canvas offers no cover
when the roof is torn away
under a thickening drift of snow
the trio teetered
as they lay

Waiting for the end

Distorted faces
Snow whipped up
into ghoul 's embraces
Excruciating pain
when the wind bites hard
Congealed life-blood
as their minds retard

Their choice

Then lo!
the wind subsides
their prayers were answered
or so it seems
A journey South through
hell and on
recovers as a dream

The three men stagger back
wobbly on their last legs
exhausted and elated
and still clutching their

penguin's eggs


Published on writebuzz®: Adults > Poetry

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