In the winter of 1849
– or so we think –
the wooden bones of The Terror
were finally broken.
Encroaching ice claimed
this stubborn blight
on a wild frozen sea
Those still seeking its shelter
were doomed to walk
stark glacial landscapes
ravenous and afraid.
What we have left of them
are rusted rifles, stone cairns
and bones gnawed
2 thoughts on “Poem 23: The Terror”
How intriguing that halfway into this poem I stopped and double-checked the year and the ship to discover an enduring mystery. Especially with so much occurring at this time in history, there is something poignant about trying to understand the “wooden bones” and whatever else is “left of them” — people most likely not so different from us today in 2022. Reading this again a second and then third time, I noticed how you used, “broken. . . .blight . . . without remorse. . . . doomed. . . . stark. . . . ravenous and afraid. . . . and bones gnawed / in desperation.”
This is a succinct, haunting poem.
Thank you! There is an excellent series based on this book which certainly haunts me.