Home > Chapbook Finalists 2009 > Touring the Glaciers

Touring the Glaciers

September 11, 2009

From the 2009 qarrtsiluni chapbook contest finalist The Goatfish Alphabet (one of the two runners-up), by Kristen McHenry

We’ve boarded the ship, unruly tourists
in jelly sandals, scrambling to witness first
the humming skyward walls, an ocean
stiffened and held in its own sleek corpse, risen high.
We glide beside this aqua screen, in unthawed dreams
on the lam from our flooded lives; squatters
craving the glacier’s bright cooling raiment
as we press our fevered foreheads to its damp skin.

When did this snowy rush begin
to find a place of infinite containment;
to ground itself in the frantic waters
and anchor to the sea with its monstrous beams?
It does nothing but absorb the sky
and hold its place among motion.
Our hands flutter on cameras; we’re the cursed
who can’t stop churning the placid waters.

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Kristen McHenry is a resident of Seattle, Washington and is a poet and freelance writer by night, and health outreach worker by day. Among other publications, her work has been seen in Wanderings, Trellis Magazine, Boston Literary Magazine, Tiferet, Sybil’s Garage, and several anthologies, including Meanderings and Flowers Bloom in the Moonlight. She is currently a finalist in the national competition “Project Verse”. She is the creator and facilitator of the Poet’s Cafe, a weekly poetry workshop for homeless teens at the New Horizons drop-in center in downtown Seattle.

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