Advice from Freuchen , the explorer
When Arctic blizzards blow
in Northern Greenland
and your supplies are low
the best advice is build an igloo
and wait out the storm.
And when you hear the wolves
howling with hunger
and prowling on your igloo roof
it’s best to go outside
and sing – only occasionally
though you will fight to be heard
above the judder of the wind.
Inside the igloo will be problematic
the walls seem to close in
as claustrophobic days proceed
it’s not an illusion
but a fact
each breath freezes moisture in the walls
and breath by breath they thicken
spaces close around your body
breathing yourself in a coffin of ice.
There’s no instrument of death
devised by man to so terrify
as being locked in space and time
each breath reminding you
of that closeness to that final loss
of breath and an icy Arctic death.