2 Brinicle Poems and a Cover Reveal

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) Before I share poems, I invite you to check out John Schu’s cover reveal for one of my Spring 2023 picture books. Click here to see Alexandria Neonakis’ gorgeous cover for FINDING FAMILY: THE DUCKLING RAISED BY LOONS.

Y’all know I love science poetry, and I recently got to read the fabulous Maria Gianferrari’s ICE CYCLE: POEMS ABOUT THE LIFE OF ICE. One of her poems mentions brinicles, which I learned about when I wrote a brinicle poem 8 or 10 years ago for an anthology! So, here are both poems.

Ice Plays

Icicles shine,
Drip and drop.

Ice spikes launch,
Stick and prick.

Cat ice whorls
Swirl and twirl.

Brinicles sink,
Plume and bloom.

Pancake ice stacks
Smack and crack.

Shelf ice sweeps
Whip and dip.

Ice foot kicks.
Ice tongue licks.

–© Maria Gianferrari, all rights reserved, from ICE CYCLE

Isn’t that wonderful? Such tight writing–almost completely nouns and verbs! And Jieting Chen’s cool, crystalline illustrations just make the poems even better. Yum.

And here’s my brinicle poem, from the National Geographic BOOK OF NATURE POETRY–one of my favorite anthologies!


Arctic Ocean,
dark, vast
water cave guarded by an
arc of sea ice above

Ceiling recedes,
feeds salt to the deep
Super-saltwater ribbon flows,
grows, and sinks

with a frigid core
wears a crystal
cloak of ice

Brinicle gushes,
rushing down to the
sea floor,
an icy finger of death

© Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Want to learn a little more about brinicles? See my earlier post about this poem, where I define a brinicle and share a nifty video!

And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones. She’s spending this month celebrating the one-year anniversary of  yet another terrific anthology, the 10.10 Poetry Anthology. Save

28 Responses

  1. Ha! I have a brinicle poem, too, in my collection WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA. 🙂 Love reading these and seeing how differently the same topic an be approached. Also: FINDING FAMILY looks to be gorgeous! Carol gave us a sneak peek at Highlights. Congratulations! xo

    1. Oh, that is such a beautiful collection, Irene. Clearly, it’s time for me to reread it :>)

  2. Thanks for sharing Gianferrari’s poem, Laura! And yours as well, “an icy finger of death”. *shivers* (I’m off to grab a sweater. 🙂 )

  3. Wow! I just watched the video about Brinicles. Amazing! Fingers of death. Also, the cover of your book is wonderful and surprising. Science is an endless source for poets.

    1. Aren’t they incredible? Thanks for the kind words–Alexandria made lovely art for this book!

  4. Love this Laura! I found the brinicle amazing! I had never heard of them before. I love science poetry and writing about science in general! I’ve got to let you know that I recently referred to you information on writing pitches for work for hire from the webinar you held last year. Thank you! It helped a lot!

    1. Thanks, Carol. I hadn’t ever heard of them before I found them on the list of possible topics for that anthology. And thanks for letting me know that the info was useful. Best of luck with getting some assignments!

  5. Love hearing about both the poems and then Irene’s too, plus your own video of brinicles. They are amazing, plus it’s a cool word, too!

    1. It is :>) I’ve got to go look at Irene’s poem this weekend. I loved her collection.

  6. I learned about brinicles! Both poems would be excellent to use in a classroom. I especially love the last stanza in your poem. Now I’m off to watch the video!

  7. love these poems. I need to go learn more about brinicles! All those “s” sounds make it sound cool or cold.

  8. Thanks for sharing the brinicle poems, but oh all those poor starfish captured by the powerful and scary brinicle… Congrats on your forthcoming Loon book Laura, looks lovely and nice review too!

  9. I love this connection between the two poems. This week I worked with fourth graders on looking at expository NF about various science concepts and paired them up with poetry about the same science concepts. So fun! I’m obsessed with science poetry. And I love Maria’s new book!

  10. Feels a little too early in the season to be immersing in ice, Laura, but the appeal of both poems is undeniable. I continue to be flabbergasted by your prolificity (you bet that’s a word)–THREE spring books and a 2024 one in the pipeline! Congrats on your lovely loons and duckling.

    1. Thanks, Heidi. Well, the books were all written/sold at totally different times. One was written in 2008! Publishing is a funny business…

  11. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I have multiple degrees in science and taught it for many years and today is the first I ever heard the term “brinicle”. I guess that means i need to read more poetry ????

    1. Hehehe–isn’t that amazing? There’s just too much incredible stuff about our world–even multiple science degrees can’t hold all of it. And, ya know, more poetry is always the answer :>D

  12. And here’s one more thing to love about our complicated, amazing, wondrous world — brinicles (and the poets who show them to us)!

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