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In the auction room – once a Methodist Chapel –

on the Holyhead Road to Llangollen,

above the gorge the River Dee cut

before the last ice age, Lot 59

is an Arctic Fox: in the catalogue:–

‘A good example of Victorian

taxidermy, with some discolouring

of the tail. Circa 1845’.


That year, Franklin’s expedition left the Thames

to chart the North West Passage: lead poisoning,

learning nothing from the Inuit, ice

killed them all. Now, as the fast ice retreats,

year by year, and the pack ice diminishes

new expeditions weigh anchor in the sounds.

The deniers are drilling for gas and oil.


The fox, immortalised in winter pelage,

is about to pounce – on some imagined

vole or lemming beneath the fictive snow.




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • John Huddart
    October 29, 2013

    Your usual grasp of time, with slips to prehistory and glimpses of the future, with a time travelling arctic fox continually pouncing. I love all art engaged in relative time frames, so am a sucker for this. It is exploring the idea that knowledge of the past should give us some control of the future. But the oil explorer and the hungry fox are equally incapable of doing anything but just surviving in the here and now.

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