Poems of the Week

Arctic Heat

by Philip Kitcher

Temperatures in Northern Siberia, within the Arctic Circle, are steadily increasing.
Recently a new record of over 100°F was set.

Enjoy your dream vacation at the Gulag Inn and Spa,
a site where summer’s warmer every year.
Though if you plan to visit you will have to travel far,
you’ll find it more than worth it once you’re here.

The tundra stands wide open—you can strike out on your own,
to dig until your haversack is full.
With luck you’ll come back carrying a woolly mammoth bone,
or, disappointed, with a human skull.

You’ll watch the kiddies frolic in our balmy local lake,
where bracing waves of methane fill the air,
supplying to the greenhouse all the gases it can take—
now the permafrost is melting everywhere.

Our town is rich in history, there’s plenty to explore,
you’ll find out how things were in days gone by,
and come across mementoes from the lives that passed before,
the prisoners the state sent off to die.