the guardian ponies

siberian ponies 
on runners of seal teeth 
and penguin eggs 
unpack ed’s shed 
they unchain 
a frozen husky 
remove a harness 
from the stomach 
of a reindeer sleeping bag 
with pieces of string 
and mountain song 
they photograph themselves 
in 3-D snow glasses 
wearing polar medals 
being hugged by Oates 
and Scott or knitting 
dog singlets on the terra 
nova 1910 
they never leave 
these photographs but stand 
closer to ed 
when he does 

the heart visits Antarctica

the heart reaches 
the hut first 
and unpacks his medicines 
he wears a reindeer vest 
and finnesko boots 
he renames his chambers 
parlour morning room
sitting room dining room 
he uses the pericardium 
as a hammock 
he burns blubber
to fatten the walls 
he teaches his vena cava 
to stream plaque 
he experiences mood swings 
and hangs fairy lights 
he dyes his membranes 
green and blue 
and begins 
a comparative study 
of cardiology 
these days 
before takeoff 
when he consults 
the windsock 
he sometimes presents 
as a sleeve of arteries 
and the sly metallic pain 
of crosswinds 
lift the ashes 
of a butcher’s cough 
where he once lived 


Kerrin P Sharpe, based in Christchurch, is a poet and teacher of creative writing. This year she has been published in SnorkelBlackmailJAAMBest NZ Poems 2010 and in Best of the Best NZ Poems (VUP, 2011).