Poems: 'The Southern Lights at –50° Fahrenheit' and 'Lake Vostok'


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Edited by Dava Sobel


—a zeitgeber

When winds were bearable, we sought bliss,

sat, admired the aurora australis

as an escape from our blackest abyss.

We gazed up into rarefied air, clear

and pristine in every echelon,

an atmospheric phenomenon,

solar wind collisions of protons

and electrons high in the exosphere.

Who needs Parthenon or Birth of Venus

when blue lights swirl low, pink coronas kiss

clouds, neon greens arc, deep reds stripe across

stars. We invoke healing through kinesis.


—a zeitgeber

Frantic call sent us to the Pole of Cold.

We maneuvered slowly, sought a controlled

approach through shifting drifts in our Hägglund.

At camp, they drilled to 4,000 meters

to contact a subglacial lake and wrangle

accretion ice and microbe samples,

millions and millions of years old, fragile.

After, we warmed ourselves near space heaters.

We could be on Europa, on untold

frozen moons; sort unique species; unfold

the quilt of the cosmos; piece blocks; hold

no bias; embrace the raw edge, uncontrolled.

Author’s Note: The rhyme scheme for this form that I invented (based on the term “zeitgeber,” meaning an external cue that affects the way the body is regulated by circadian rhythms or time cycles) is aaabcccbaaaa and represents three months with sun above the horizon, one month of twilight, three months of darkness, one month of twilight, and four months of sun above the horizon.

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Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lamber is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes about arts, entertainment, lifestyle, and home news. Nicole has been a journalist for years and loves to write about what's going on in the world.

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