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A view of glaciers with the snow in the foreground from Juneau Icefield. (photo by Andrew Opila)

(photo by Andrew Opila)

A View of Two Glaciers

A swath of snow smooths the Taku

like a long blanket tucking in the mountains,

sleeping in as the sun begins to sweat.

An avalanche rumbles a tumbling snore.


The sheet starts to spill, tilting over a drop-

off. Its glass cracks, tension tearing

as the surface splices, crevasses slashing

through with razor-stabs of blue


as Battle Glacier churns downward; chunks

of ice restlessly tossed and up-turned,

as if rough seas were glazed white

and the waves frozen solid.


At first I see chaos; then I see calm.


Poem by Carly Onnink ’20. Onnink is a junior in UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences studying biology. She is also in the Creative Writing Program in the department of English and comparative literature and values the mentorship of Professor Michael McFee. Onnink was inspired to write this poem after participating in fieldwork last summer through the Juneau Icefield Research Program. Read a first-person essay about her experience.