King of Ice

A Note to ‚King of Ice‘.

The history for the components that provided the basis for the birth of the poetic legend ‘The King of Ice’ reaches back historically, for a long period of time.

When my Mom-in-law visited us in South Africa, where we lived for many years, my wife and I took her on a tour of the country. We travelled through the Karoo to Cape Town. From here we decided to drive along the ‘Garden Route’, and stop at the world famous ‘Kango Caves’. As she remembered her father, a natural history teacher, she told us the history of his discovery of a prehistorical cave in the Loser-mountain, in the ‘Dead Mountains’ in the province of Styria in Austria.  

His discovery of prehistoric cave bear heads and bones was spectacular, and he spent weekends to salvage his findings, tirelessly, often day and night. He crawled alone in the cavernous mountain, its soft limestone structures hollowed out by ravines from molten ice. Preparing his findings in his house, he reconstructed a cave bear, whose giant skeleton can be viewed at the local museum in Bad-Aussee.

While my mother-in-law and I were visiting the Kango Caves, her story had not only fascinated me, but stirred my fantasy as we walked between stalactites and stalagmites.

Later, on one of our visits to Austria, my wife took me to the ‘Dachstein Rieseneishöhlen’ – the gigantic ice caverns of the Dachstein Mountains – where the awesome icicled landscape fascinated us with the luminescence of the icicle stalactites and stalagmite curtains. The colourful display through lighting placed another layer of unforgettable pictures, of this Ice-world’s atmosphere, into my mind’s collection of photographic sceneries.

Many years later, on a trip to the Canary Islands, the semi-tropical island of Gran Canaria placed yet another layer of images on the existing ones in my mind. It was all about the creation of the island through its volcanic eruption out of the sea, forming Mt. Teide.

The process of creation has through a long journey assembled a rich source of images, which were brewing in the melting pot of my artistic being. Finally, after I came across a series of photographs, I had taken in the ‘Rieseneishöhlen’, I began to draw scenes to the ballade I had composed.

I had written the text in a poetic form about my experiences in caves. When the inspiration for the story came to me, I wrote it in one go. ‘Ein Wurf’ – A throw – as Thomas Mann called his story ‘Death in Venice’. A most happy moment for any poet, and an accessible work for everybody.

I wish all my readers, young, mature and the elderly folk, happy and enjoyable reading.

Z J Galos. (AKA: zoltanzelan)

My illustrated book: ‘The King of Ice’, ISBN: 9783750428522, is available at BoD-Book on Demand, Norderstedt. Email:


Thank You.

ZJG, poet and artist.