"Arctic Willow," GRID-Arendal image, Peter Prokosch, 2012.
“Arctic Willow,” GRID-Arendal image, Peter Prokosch, 2012.

Pink blooms of Greenland Arctic willows,
Wind-shivering in rocky clumps, cloud-
Streaked September sun, first skiff of
Blowing snow, brief flowered lives are
Done, frozen and snow-buried six dark
Months, promise of spring renewal, bitter
Cold oft lingers well into March.

For now, last of Caribou graze, night skim
Ice forms on high-sloped fiords, tiny rattling,
Glass-clear when broken by wind and tide.
We’ve collected blooms for medicinal teas,
Dried feathery leaves, cough soothing by
Glowing wood-stem fires on dark blizzard
Nights, remedies Vikings learnt from Inuit.

With sips of magical tea, I dreamt of hares
Darting amongst carpets of radiant blooms,
Bees breeze buzzing, memories of Norway
Home, woven wool blanket upon lush grass,
Sunny Greenland cliffs overlooking white-
Crested seas, yearning for summer sun as
Winter encroaches on Norse farmsteads.

For more on medicinal use of Arctic Willow tea, see this link.

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