They had no need of dogs. Cut through the ice
with heated blades – their ship was iron-clad,
could not be crushed or stopped. Their air-boats had
scouted the way, placed beacons. Once or twice
the powered sledges stopped in slurried snow,
but only to build up a head of steam.
The pressure gauges functioned like a dream
The sledges shook a second, then would go
and then slow down again, to walking pace
perhaps a little faster. At the Pole
they left no flag. Such journeys take a toll.
One said ‘ Good God, this is an awful place’
The pulsing engines’ noise and warm hot breath
silenced shrill blizzard voices’ call to death.