The day we spent on the Gerlache Strait,
Wilson’s Storm Petrels teasing the waves.
Fur seals, Chinstraps, Weddells.
Icebergs the size of Belgium, reflecting
Eerie blue light through weather-streaked portholes.
Not a tree in sight, not a patch of grass
But oh, the teeming sea, inviting us
Imploring us, to see a world
Nine-tenths hidden beneath our view.
You, who are clothed in black and white.
Icy glaciers. Snowy-white Wandering Albatross.
Mottled rocks mimic sleek black seals.
The shadowy outline of a volcano in the distance,
Obscured by tufted clouds and frigid windblown spray.
Even your sea is gray with its endless, rippling crests,
Wrestling, jostling, teasing ships as if they were tiny toy boats
And suddenly, you erupt with
Unexpected pinholes of color:
Pink krill stains, the orange beak of a Gentoo.
Blood spurting from a leopard seal devouring its prey.
Yellow mucous spit out on the beach.
Kelp. Green algae. Lichen on a rock.
The hour we spent in a tiny Zodiac,
Watching light shift on iridescent floes.
Meanwhile, the sun setting in red and pink.
A patch of blue sky.
Tomorrow, the promise of sun and glassy seas.