Time of the Icebergs

Here is a link to a poem video, released in early December, which has been created by myself and Richard Wallis for my poem Time of the Icebergs. The poem is about the icebergs sailing past Dunedin in 2006, and climate change. It also features a lot of the old Dunedin townscape which is fast changing.

 The poem Time of the Icebergs also features in a new poetry anthology forthcoming from Auckland University Press and launched in May 2022 entitled, No Other Place to Stand, a book of climate change poetry from Aotearoa and the Pacific.

Watch Time of Icebergs

Time of the Icebergs

In the time of the icebergs —
big black baby buggies pushed by women
in hoodies, denim and eff-off boots.
Crop circles on Google Earth say NO to Monsanto.
Boxy four-wheel-drives plane through the wet —
semi-amphibious barges, growling up and down,
piloted by yummy mummies, or tattooed property
developers in cargo shorts, their tee-shirts
emblazoned with Crowded House logos,
their capitalist warrior chariots splashing kerbs.
Buses pull out wheezing, and puffing exhaust,
loaded to the gunnels with glaze-eyed tourists —
destination, Bliss or Damnation.

Glossolalia of the Undie 500 clown cars;
smashed glass of the student quarter glimmery as jewels;
detritus of bonfires blown hither and yon,
the shouty mouthy denizens of bouncy Castle Street
wandering in fellowship of the sofa burns
to the great forcing apparatus university,
glowing with self-declared enlightenment;
and death by chocolate beckons,
from Cadbury’s vast lakes of cocoa butter,
to vulgarians who flog heritage buildings for parking.
Bringing frost, a flotilla of white blocks;
winter bloom of blue muffin-tops over low-slung jeans,
and gales in the face which smack like wet fish;
chill fingerbones that touch you from far away,
in the time of the icebergs.

The city at night one vast monastery
under holy hush of snow;
and bent beneath their hoods they go,
like capuchin monks praying in cloisters,
Ngati Cappuccino or Ngati Bogan,
eye-sockets deep pits in snoods:
glaze-eyed jaded ones,
monkish, cowling the head for respect,
or to recapture the rapture;
and a hooded phantom runs,
breathing out steam,
a warrior monk who travels light.
Closer, you see her face,
ethereal as that of a novice nun,
beneath her hoodie,
in the time of the icebergs.

David Eggleton