Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Bucket to Empty

It never ceases to amaze me how many people have never seen the wonder of Alaska. I have given up trying to know if there is global warming such that the bergs from Le Conte may never again come ashore at Sandy Beach at Mitkof Island be become my private playground of ice slides and forts. God help us if the glaciers ever become extinct. This poem came to me while talking to another member of the bar who was indicating that although she had never been to Alaska she was contemplating a trip. Hope you enjoy. another poem just posted on my other blog: www.alaskanpoetcommentator.blogspot.com and for those of you who enjoy brevity go to my twitter: www.twitter.com/alaskanpoet--always numerous 140 character iambic poems on news events of the day.

A Bucket to Empty

Listen to the Johnny Horton song
Time to empty the bucket before too long
If Gore was right, the glaciers we may not save
Even though John Muir is praying in his grave
Alaska is shedding its icy pelt
The glaciers are in an ever increasing melt
But it will remain North to the Future, the Great Land, the Last Frontier
Where Nature deals the smiles and awes and deals the pain and tears
It is the land where the pioneer spirit without question rules,
Lessons not found or no longer taught in any urban schools
Here no man is an island even if reachable only by sled or plane
And then only if the skies are not closed with snow, fog or numbing rain
Here when Nature causes general quarters alarms
We drop everything to try to save others from deadly harm
Be it a sinking seiner or a blizzard from the Arctic Gates of Hell
There are no spectators, we all answer the tolling of the bell
Even with TV, the Iditarod is more than just a race
It’s a historic symbol of how a disease was kept in place
Go see the glaciers as a bonus, a treasured treat
But even better yet will be all the open hands you will meet
Take a ferry through the Narrows and try to touch Green Rock
Watch the boats leaving to make a dent in the salmon stock
Stop in Petersburg the Alaskanpoet’s stomping ground
Kayak to Le Conte in nearby Frederick Sound
Watch the seagulls gather and hover as the fleet empties its holds
Dollars from the ocean, if men are brave, strong and always bold
Then pause at the Memorial and count the rows of silent plaques
Of those fisherman awash in waves and cold who until the end kept coming back
And know another muse, who after 50 years a pioneer, lies to upon the Narrows gaze
On the eternal stream of boats heading To The Westward to Icy Straits, and sheltered bays
The Northern Lights will never melt or their greenish dance abate
But no excuse for this trip to delay or,as a cardinal sin, never take.
Michael P. Ridley, aka the Alaskanpoet
(c) April 19, 2011

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