The Arctic Before

The white is everlasting
It stretches beyond our reach
We cannot grasp the distance
Of this glistening vast expanse

Along the ice treads
A lone polar bear
Looking for a seal
For a meal

It knows of no human
It knows of no pollution
It knows of no heat

It knows ice


A Zoo

A wall. The wall.
Surrounding, daunting, ever present, ever lasting.           There.
It doesn’t leave. Crack. Crumble. Break.
It is built to last.
To keep out.
To keep in—me

I cannot leave here




Safety. Food. Stay. Please.

Your numbers are diminishing. We have to keep you healthy.

Then why is my home so small?

            NO.      Not my home.

                        My cage.

Funding. We can’t expand. No space. We tried.

Try harder.

I can’t sleep here. I won’t eat.
I’m trapped.

Behind these walls. Inside my mind.


I swim to push the thoughts down
I swim.

Depression. Add some pills to his food.

I swim.
And swim and swim and swim and swim and swim.


The Arctic Now

The white is fading
It melts before our eyes
The distance is diminishing
It glistens gray and black

Along the ice edge treads
A lone polar bear
Looking desperately for a seal
For any form of a meal

It knows of humans
It knows of pollution
It knows of heat

It knows of vanishing ice


This poem was written by Remi Gosselin, a REP in our Undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program