Arctic Summer

Send to Kindle


I wrote the following poem after spending ten glorious days adrift
north of the Arctic Circle on a cruise in August of 2002.
I won’t be going that far north this time
but am taking a  break in Canada for the next five days.


Arctic Summer

No stars fill the night  only clouds gray on gray
soaking in yellow light that fills the sky

From the deck I ponder arctic terns black guillemots
the sea of ice we breach   the ship’s groan and lurch

Evidence of our push through time   the tumble
of white gray and blue we scatter in our wake

Off the bow a polar bear feeds on ring seal
his blood tinged face glows like the moon

As he shuffles and paws the broken body
ivory gulls flutter   wait for scraps of skin and blubber

I go below to my cabin   fall asleep like a bear
cradled in the rhythmic rise and fall of sea and ice

The cold sunlit night slowly slipping
toward dark frozen days


I’ll be back here on my blog on July 19th with a post about my worst addiction and two book reviews.
If you missed my July 1st newsletter with my Latest, Hottest, Book News, go here to catch up on what’s happening.
I hope you’re enjoying the summer as much as I am.


  1. Lovely poem, Joan.

    Have another lovely vacation in the North.


    • Thank you, Shirley. Just arrived this evening and though it’s warm here in Niagara On The Lake, there is no humidity. We’re here for the George Bernard Shaw Festival and 5 nights of theatre.

  2. May this trip be as engaging and interesting Joan!

    • Thanks, Val. This trip isn’t wild and wooly like the one I went on above, but a fun place to be and it’s simply relaxing and beautiful. Just what I need.

  3. Joan — Enjoy your time away to recharge your personal battery!

  4. Enjoy this well-deserved break, Joan!

  5. Beautiful! Wishing you a fabulous getaway.

  6. Joan Rough says:

    Thank you, Tracy. It’s great to take a break!