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Tag Archives Greenland

WINTERING

Pink-footed geese are wintering on the marshes

west of here – flocks from Spitzbergen, Iceland,

Greenland. This late October morning

the garden is full of noises: the trimming

and shaping of hedges, bushes, trees,

the blowing and gathering of leaves –

and high cries as a skein flies eastwards

to feed on wheat stalks in the stubble fields.

 

The afternoon is disturbed by sirens –

not fire or police or ambulance.

There have been explosions somewhere north

we are informed –

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THE LAST REFUGE

‘Two bald men fighting over a comb…’ José Luis Borges

Almost always, winds blew – over heath and sheep.

Seas swelled southward – to ice, minerals.

Mapped, the islands seemed like green spume: a tattered

standard blown west. That bleak solitude

was Arthur Ransome country – The Camp,

Tumbledown Mountain – naive, single minded,

like the Falkland Flightless Steamer duck…

Larger than Greenland, smaller than India,

Argentina did not exist.

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WILDNESS

 August ’91, the Gulf War over, Kuwaiti oilwells  almost saved,

Kurds beleaguered, Marsh Arabs gassed…

 

From Schipol’s Duty Free, slow with tourists,

to Immigration at O’Hare, slow with Croatian refugees,

seemed like a long day with an early start…

 

But for icebergs still loose and multiplying

along Greenland’s uncompromising coast,

the  tawny, unmarked  miles of tundra,

the empty, unpeopled miles…

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