THE MAN IN THE ICE
Frozen in time.
Trapped in an icy chamber, That could vanish At a touch.
Your skin weathered, like dry leaves, Your features cracked.
Opal mist numbs the air that you once breathed.
Vitreous satin surrounds your bed.
Transparent silk hangs above you.
A pearl glacier carrying you to new lands.
White against azure sky and ocean.
Like a precious jewel, You slip silently away with a sleek shiver.
Forbidden secrets locked in your crystal chamber, Until the ice melts.
By Jacqueline Sharples (year 10) who receives Poems on the Underground (Cassell). Submitted by Martin Roper of Ashlyns School, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, who receives the Poetry Society's teachers' newsletter. For Poetry Society events ring 0171 240 4810.
Presumably this was inspired by the man (Neolithic?) who was found preserved in ice in the Alps a few years ago. It's a wonderful subject, and Jacqueline has risen to it with some enjoyable imagery. I particularly like the way that "opal", "pearl" and "azure" lead up to the moment when the man himself is seen as a precious stone.