Joachim Sartorius - ICE MEMORY

Ice flows like water. In the depths of the ice
the old climates are preserved, maybe
a key to the Apocalypse.

From the Bible we know floods and plagues.
The snow from the days of Plato is eight thousand meters deep,
from the time of the painters of Lascaux, seventeen thousand.

In the ice of Greenland there is volcanic ash
from Krakatoa, lead pollution from ancient
Roman blast furnaces, and from Mongolia

blown-in dust. In every layer there are tiny bubbles
telling us about past atmospheres,
the abrupt, carnival-like

changes, maintained for thousands of years.
Such distances promise a chain
of eternities. Close-up, it´s as though

a crazy bungee-jumper wanted to land on a flimsy
rollercoaster at its speedy take-off. But
only one question moves us really:

where is the imprint of our tiny, naked feet?
There is a punitive pattern, a beautiful regularity:
The summer snow gets buried by the winter snow.

Some icebergs have an astonishing blue glimmer.
It is the density of the ice, from the dainty feet
treading there, says the expert in glaciers.