Friday, September 19, 2014


My walk to and from UNIS every day could be the subject of an epic poem.

Oh Muse, speak through me,
That I may tell the tale
Of a young adventurous scientist
On a high Arctic island.

Robed in goose down, she departs
After a long day of work
She strives toward one goal:
A warm resting place
At her home, the house of Nybyen.

Treading up the gravel path,
She reaches the city center
Past shops of gear and three different inns
Among other similar travelers,
Faces barely visible, heads bent in the Wind

Brave Kirstin marches on, continuing up the valley
Uphill and against the Wind
A distant whistle she hears
Sirens to the musician's ear
Tempting her off-course toward the mountainside

The traveler stops to listen
Spinning her body around to discern the origin
Of that sweet, musical sound
Like a chorus of flutes, but she
Turns her face away, treading onward, uphill

The Wind makes a second attempt
To send determined Kirstin off-course
Squealing like rusty playground equipment
As she passes the Longyearbyen School
The Wind voice morphs into a howling dog
Stirring snow into a vicious vortex
Racing along the ground like a ravenous wolf

The adventurer spins around, turning her back
To the wind's deceptive snarl
No canine to be seen, no rusty swingset around
And the tumbleweed of snow
Rolls down the road

Still farther she trudges with backpack heavy-laden
Along the ice-covered road
With Nybyen almost in sight
The wind makes it ultimate attempt
On our young scientist's wits

Blasting straight down-valley
Opposing her motion with immeasurable force
A gale rips through her robe of feathers
And pelts her face with loose gravel

Young Kirstin turns her back to the wave
But its punishing force does not subside
Shielding her eyes from the rain of earth
Pulling her scarf over her chapped lips
Still the traveler trudges on
Foot after foot, step after step
As slowly as she must until the wind
Finally realizing that the determined student
Cannot be beat by force
Stays its hand and retreats into the mountains.

Finally arriving at Nybyen,
A journey so trying for even the most iron of wills
The adventurer shuts the windowed door
And looks on as the wind spins its tricks for an empty street
Laughing, she tosses off her boots
And speaks to a deaf room
"Not today, Wind, not today."

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