Wednesday, August 16, 2017

walking the glacier!


water speaks in strikingly difference voices,
often it is soft, gentle, soothing,
as liquid it laughs down a mountain side,
calls to us to see it perform in a waterfall,
it gentles our spirit through a lake,
yet it can often scare me in an ocean with its power,
though there it still holds us as mother,

today has been of its solid form:
high up a great mountain a glacier came into being
countless thousands of years ago,
to drops down the valleys as if it is a huge beast,
slowly, inexorably, slithering toward the sea,
fed by snow that makes it larger,
diminished by heat that morphs solid to liquid,

a glacier can stop its downward advance,
and build up a Cape Cod or Long Island,
as its conveyor belt drops sand and rock at the terminus,

a glacier can shrink in size, retreat, 
such as now, withdrawing before the havoc 
we humans wreak in the climate,
the last decades have forced the glaciers back and back,

there is enormous weight and sheer presence in a living glacier,
no wonder the Norse,
who lived close with such ice,
felt the power of the ice,
a force that shapes mountains is far greater than any mortal,

today we stalk glaciers,
we touch ice in a lagoon below one,
watch great chunks bob and blow in a meltflow river,

while the tide rushes the ocean in
to meet the ice heading out,
so much fish must abound in all that meeting
that seals and birds are everywhere,
feeding their bodies while we feed our souls,

our feet and fingers need to touch the glacier itself,
we find and charter a tour company
which outfits us with the right tools for the ice,
particularly crampons to make our boots
walk the ice as it were land,
we step on to the glacier!

there at its front end where it’s all blackened with ash,

yet clean, and even blue, just below its black patina,
here solid water starts to give up the ghost
and release its friendly liquid form,
we can see little streams work their way down the ice,
and, if we’re still, water gurgles and sings to us from below,
we even drink fresh meltwater,
which had stayed frozen maybe a thousand years till melting for us,

the ice crunches beneath our feet
and allows us wonders with every step,
glimpses of ethereal blue reach at us from the depths,

lines of tension crisscross the ice,
feeling for the crevasses that can be their future,

holes appear where swirling water had carved them so,

mounds of dry ash over ice reach toward the sky,
while less-insulated ice around them has eroded away,

most of the ash is black and sandy feeling,
though some is gray and feels fine like clay,
we hear that that gray ash is from
a particular eruption in 1354!

the ice is hard, and not friendly,
as our son found in a small fall,

being here, today, on this awesome glacier,
connects us to a significant piece of the truth
God imbues in the world
for us to find, if we but will.

by Henry H. Walker

August 8, ‘17

1 comment:

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Nice pictures. I enjoyed reading.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.