All My Flowers

Antarctica

I know ice whalebone white
           green and turquoise,

            milky ice, ice blood-red
when the algae blooms; candle ice, pack ice,

            pancake ice, and cat ice that glazes
water so thinly a breath would shatter it;
                         lolly slush,

loose crystals in a salt-water slurry;
             young ice and its false maturity.
I know the way fast ice locks on

                       and doesn’t let go;
the gray moire of grease ice, its sheen
of watermarked silk skimming the sea;

and fog ice, mists of diamond dust
                        that cancel skies, that conjure
multiple and dazzling suns,

bounce prisms, throw halos,
            suspend a snow field, inverted, in midair.

                           .

            The ice gives birth to ice.
The first filaments of ice mating are frazil ice.

Once it develops and grows muscular
             ice battles ice.

The ice barrage explodes in a din
Of booms, cannonades, cracks loud as rifle shots.

          And when the ice buries ice
it is entombed with ancient atmospheres.

All my hours are ice hours.
           All my flowers are ice flowers.

 

 

 

 

Marion Starling Boyer is author of four poetry collections: The Sea Was Never Far (Main Street Rag, 2019); The Clock of the Long Now (Mayapple Press, 2009); Composing the Rain, winner of Grayson Books 2014 Poetry Chapbook Competition; and Green (Finishing Line Press, 2003). After living and teaching in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for many years, she and her husband now live in the Cleveland area where she has become active in Lit Cleveland and Lit Youngstown. She is currently working on a poetry manuscript about Antarctic exploration.