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Advent, the Twenty-Second Day: MacKinlay’s Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt – The Journey

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…et excussit flammam ignis de fornace…

The blinkered blankness of Antarctica’s waste,
A wind-blown tabla rasa, presses back
Against our human footprints – some erased
Like flame by ice and some, like fossil rock,
Embedded in the permafrost. The Nimrod,
Before Endurance sailed, escaped the ramrod
That stove her sister’s frozen skeleton…
The lesson learned by Ernest Shackleton? –
Defeat can be defeated: aged MacKinlay
Thus understands that patient courage cures
Impurities – and freeze or burn – endures,
This twenty-second day of Advent, aye,
As faith withstands whatever winter brings
And writes the hope that’s fanned with phoenix wings.

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