Saturday, November 29, 2008

Week 16


by Claire Saxby

In a blue Antarctic dawn
an iceberg calves -
shears from a glacier
and is released to the sea

sharp and angular
it hoards ancient weather
layers of ice clothing
a coat for each year volcanoes blew
and black ash fell like snow

deeply it sits
silent peaceful
innocent whale
deadly danger

storms blow
tides swell
nights fall and fade
age blunts the underwater blades
wind softens the face

the iceberg travels on
past old grandfather blues
and cheeky growlers
to finally fall and sleep
on a drift of fragile ice flowers

Claire says: I was helping my son research a project on food chains in the Antarctic and discovered the wonderful words that are used to describe the various life stages and shapes of an iceberg. From the moment it comes into being to its demise the iceberg is moving, transforming. So as my son constructed his project poster linking the ‘who-eats-who’, I collected iceberg words and scrabbled them together into a life history.

Claire is a writer of poetry, fiction and non fiction for children. One of her poems, ‘Pompeii Dog’ is currently travelling suburban Melbourne aboard a Connex train as part of a Moving Galleries exhibition. Her books include Ebi’s Boat and A Nest for Kora. You can see more of Claire’s work at

1 comment:

Sheryl Gwyther said...

It's a beautifully imagined and written poem, Claire.