In the kayak
Our cutlery the length of paddle shafts
we feast on icy platefuls of silence,
torsos tensioned like springs,
energy uncoils, a mechanical,
shouldered rhythm of arm, arm, arm.
The cold-hand percussion of blade-splash
rolls like a snare drum over the tempo
of wave slap and bass boom of glacier.
Encased in the kayak, the view laps at our waists
kelp and brash ice drawn blanket-like around us.
Penguins weave themselves through the waves
cruciform splashes fading back into lunging swell.
Aloof orca glide like oil on water through
distance thin and transparent as smoke
as we hack our blades through this splintered sea,
kindling heat from ice. Awe sparks, catches, then burns.
Rachael Mead is currently attempting to finish a PhD at the University of Adelaide. She has been published in literary journals in Australia, Taiwan and Ireland and I was the 2011 recipient of Varuna’s Dorothy Hewett Flagship Fellowship for Poetry. Mead’s poetry collection, The Sixth Creek, is forthcoming from Picaro Press in 2013.