This February has seen
meltwater in the ice cap
high above the Arctic Circle,
also clerical snowball fights
in the Vatican Square,
as great swooping curls of atmosphere
are committing blatant affronts
to the global laws of thermodynamics.
In Iceland, land of rifts and trolls,
people speak of recent thunderstorms,
airborne phenomena not seen in these parts
in a thousand years of human occupation.
Their horses, bred for treeless plain
and driving snow, have nothing
in their genes to prepare them
for this new clash of airs overhead,
the sizzling forks dropping down,
the booms that roll down glaciated valleys
into their terrified marrow,
and they bolt, tossing thick
dripping manes, scattering
for the higher plateaued ground
of what they don’t realize is an island
stuck on a planetary island
floating in the cosmos,
and from which there is no escape.
Poet’s Note: On a recent vacation to Iceland, we rode beautiful Icelandic horses through a stunning river delta at the end of a glacial valley. The owners said one of the consequences of global warming was a shift in weather patterns, bringing thunderstorms to Iceland for the first time. The horses were terribly spooked by the storms, sometimes breaking away and getting lost as they fled into the remote interior of the countryside.
Parts of the Arctic Spiked to 45 Degrees Above Normal [The Atlantic]
Robbie Gamble has work out and forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, Stonecoast Review, Poet Lore, and Carve. He works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston. He has an MFA from Lesley University.
Photo by Benny Jackson.