Scientists and quirky volunteers who yearn to feel
more alive, flock to the bottom of the world wearing
the paraphernalia of survival to prove themselves
invincible in the face of the angry wrath of God.

With no more tolerance for stodgy labs or offices
with dust motes floating over computer screens,
sturdy eccentrics plunge into the most unlivable
place on the planet with survival-ready amygdalas.

Frostbitten skin abounds in this mythic land of solitude
where silence prevails. Katabatic winds blow at hurricane
speed. Numbingly frigid white walls of whirling snow
create a bone-chilling embracing shroud.

But stalwart Pole Souls stand up to the wind,
supremely confident they will not be blown away.
A fearless heart and seasoned ingenuity keeps t hem
tethered to the blue ice of the frozen ground.

You can bury them alive in the stillness of a glacial tundra
but they’ll use fists like augurs to drill their way out.
They’re here to be tested, passionate about keeping death
at bay as a lone Petral flies under pinpricks of unnamed stars.

Milton P. Ehrlich