Arctic-Nunavut

Spanning thousands of years, the Canadian Arctic (Nunavut) has a rich history and culture. This poetry collection explores mystical or spiritual aspects of shamanism, survival of the Inuit, and their interaction with Vikings and 19th century Arctic expeditions.

  • 1190. Spun-Yarn Mysteries
    Undiscerning eyes, pile of stones Lacked shape or form until time- Turning wind-whispers shared Secrets, first faint visions of 1000 Years past, evidence of Norse-Baffin Habitation, long, open Arctic beach, […]
  • 1099. Ancient Caribou Hunt
    Narrow, rocky passages we hid, Caribou passing single file, snorting Breath steaming, dark eyes fearful, Bows stretched, copper broadheads Loosed, bleating tumbling end. Ancienne Chasse au Caribou Passages étroits et […]
  • 845. Symerya, Desert Temple, Part 3
    Part 3: Symerya meets Dolius “How did you come by this parchment?” shop Merchant asked Symerya, his gaze returned to Hand-drawn map, faded inscriptions. “Ancient Wall collapsed in Antalya, my […]
  • 811. Tulimaq, Maker of Time, Part 3
    Part 3: Brithe Abandoned with Tulimaq One amongst Norse explorers, Harvaldr, bold Wayfarer, sword-warrior, rejected all Tulimaq Vision-stated. “Old man, in spilled blood and Steel-gods of Odin-hall I believe, wealth […]
  • 810. Tulimaq, Maker of Time, Part 2
    Part 2: Past and Future Revealed Within underground crypt of Tulimaq, Arctic Night sky appeared on bright summer day, Stars and planets, curtained aurora within Arm’s reach. Alas! Stone walls […]
  • 809. Tulimaq, Maker of Time, Part 1
    Part 1: Viking Discovery Circular stone-ring, shadow-revealed by Afternoon sun, tomb collection of tumbled Stones, lichen covered, undisturbed for ages, Grass concealed entrance, mere crawl space, Opening to underground domed […]
  • 782. Kabyrah and Tal’May, Part 4
    Part 4: Ancestral Verse-Prayers Sun eclipsed by sucdding cloud, wet snow Fell upon summer mountain peaks, covering Stone steps, Tal”May, Kabylah mist ascending To messenger’s burial crypt. “Repeat verses As […]
  • 557. Thera, Greek Memories
    Memories of early Greeks, would they be Recognized today? Farms, pasturelands, And seashores time-changed, few wooded Glens or highlands resisted ravages of war. Each culture redefined what was Hellas, As […]
  • 531. Arctic Willows
    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, […]
  • 529. Brithe and Torngarsuk
    Western coast of Greenland, to northern Viking Settlements we sailed, rowing in narrow leads, Amongst current-pushed ice-islands, water Flowing from their flanks, wave-washed at sea- Bases, warmth of summer sun […]
  • 528. Songs of Moon Sister, Part 2 of 2
    Part 2: Traditions Joined “Come to me,” Moon Sister said to my mind, Her light glistening on towering ice. “I grow Pallid and crescentic, unless I sing my songs.” Upon […]
  • 527. Songs of Moon Sister, Part 1 of 2
    Part 1: Sister and Brother During Arctic winter nights, I ventured alone On sea ice, Greenland fiords illuminated By moonlight, cold and pale, harsh shadows Creeping. Final glimpse of sun, […]
  • 474. Painted Dreams
    Arctic hammered shores I paint with pointed Brush, perspective of the sky, through clouds My visions pierces, as if on sunbeams high, Mountains sweeping into Arctic seas, glaciers Calving between […]
  • 446. Living Stardust
    Northern Labrador, stormy rock-cliff island My sacred place calls, dreams that beckon, Divine voices I know well, who recognize me, Jacopee, obedient follower and shaman, Separated, elevated from tumult of […]
  • 443. Third and Final Attempt
    I. Conflicting Path  My holy place is up on Labrador, far from Madding crowds, disputes between aborig- Inal and indigenous peoples, lacerating our Culture and souls, ways of qallunaat we […]
  • 440. Jacopee’s Understanding
    As a people, we are caught between two Cultures: traditional and modern ways of Qallunaat. Conflict rides within me, two Halves disagreeing, strong and mercurial, Each uniquely walking this land, […]
  • 439. Jacopee’s Realization
    As with travelers decades past, I landed by Boat at Okak, Labrador, Historical Morovian Mission Station, site of 1919 influenza deaths, When many died along the Labrador coast, Bodies buried […]
  • 438. Jacopee’s Greenlandic Guidance
    As elder and shaman, where does guidance Originate? For decades, I only knew voices, Wisdom of ages. I took to Kayak, sewn skin And feather-light, to Greenlandic icy fiord Waters, white-crested […]
  • 437. Noona’s Sacrifice
    When I gaze upon dark-crested waters of Ungava Bay and this cairn cemetery of my People, I realize sacrifices we have made: Starvation, disease, and death. My words Are not […]
  • 423. Jacopee’s Auroral Vision
    Why do I wander alone on ice floes at night? Solitude and spiritual renewal. Whilst I love My family and the people, at times they Become burdensome beyond being father, […]
  • 422. Teaching by Knife-Point
    For too long the people asked, “Why do we Live in troubled times?” My answer, “Such Times are like polar bear, wandering into our Camps, when we are not diligent, […]
  • 420. Jacopee’s Prayer
    Holy Father, sustainer of life, I seek your Wisdom on banks of Koksoak River, to Raise my concerns, as our language and Culture gradually diminish, I cling to our Old ways, to […]
  • 419. Ancient Wisdom Shared
    Our land had remained the same, before Archaic peoples, prior to Nunavummiut, Earth and sea were providers, we lived and Prospered as a people before Qallunaat out- Siders arrived, who […]
  • 418. Sisters of the Snow
    Sacred pilgrimage to our ancestral Inuit ceme- Tery, my twin sister’s gravesite, cairns in stag- Gered rows overlooking Ungava Bay, motoring North on Koksoak River, “Great River,” ancient Life-provider of […]
  • 413. Brithe and Ilannaq
    Summer exploration of Helluland, Brithe and Her clan sailed icy fiord shores, water rippling Clear at rocky edge, lichen-covered boulders, Barren-land caribou grazing beyond arrow Flight. In silence they acknowledged […]
  • 404. Greenlandic Summer Night
    Our approach across Greenlandic seas, we Took to ice drifting off the bow, our course Made good on Panther, Newfoundland screw Steamer, to “Land of Desolation,” seagulls Circling off Julianashaab, […]
  • 330. Beringia Migrations
    Remembering Inuit origins, flesh and bone, Paleo-Siberians struggled to find their way, Fathers of their forefathers, migrations over Beringia, hunters of wooly mammoth, crossed Waving grasslands, open Arctic steppe. Tribes […]
  • 294. Greenland Arctic Gale
    Greenland Arctic gale descended, snow Blowing amongst sea ice, sails torn, bow Planking shredded, we made for protected Sutherland Island. Clouds darkened before Advancing seas, foaming waves rising, flying Spray freezing in […]
  • 270. Island of Frozen Bones
    Elders say that when I was a child, we once Walked the desolate path, across death-island, Venturing close enough to see their snow-filled Boats, ice-crushed sailing ships, bodies of dead […]
  • 250. Thule Discoveries Awaiting
    Capable people in austere lands, hunting was Our Thule way of life, tracking migrating caribou, Tribal camps, caches for storing meat, stone tent Rings on a remote bluff, commanding view of […]
  • 147. Archaic Maritime Indians
    When spring winds and tide emptied Labrador fiords of winter pack ice, Archaic Indians ventured in primitive Skin boats, beyond familiar mountain Peaks to hunt walrus and seal, toggled Antler […]
  • 132. Ahnah Reincarnated
    Now that old age has weakened us, we no longer Make annual treks to the place of our daughter’s Death, site of our granddaughter’s birth, a craggy, Wind-swept granite plateau, […]
  • 127. Invisible Wolf
    Inuit gravesite with weather-collapsed Christian crosses. For my children I mourn; their songs have Fallen into silence. Their eyes have lost their Lights. Enemy of my Inuit tribe, disease has […]
  • 125. Bones and Stone Tools
    For isolated tribes of Paleo-Eskimos, short Summers were the only relief from bitter Winters on a hammered Ellesmere Island Coastline. Huddled in skin tents covered By heavy muskoxen hides, they found […]
  • 62. “Panther” Obscured in Fog
    T Fog descends just above the ocean on the marine layer. For several Greenlandic summer nights, Hayes on The screw-steamer Panther transited the Arctic Circle. Drifting amongst icebergs, a floating […]
  • 55. Spirit of Ramah Bay Chert
    Held within opalescent projectile point, Spirit of Ramah Bay Chert, chilling smiting light, can be Visualized but rarely felt or touched by straying Hands or hearts of modern man. Maritime […]
  • 54. Silenced in Arctic Eternity
    Scattered rocks amongst a weather-worn Headstone marked August Sonntag’s humble Gravesite. On a desolate moraine, Donald MacMillan bore witness to the isolated tomb, In stark solemenity, a single photograph taken […]
  • 36. Afar on the Open Polar Sea
    Afar on the open polar sea I love to ride, with Dr. Hayes and Sonntag by my side. We run on A vigorous, close-hauled tack, approaching Baffin Bay. Under the […]
  • 28. Full Fathom of Duty
    No flowers graced three graves on Snow-swept Beechey Island, resting Place for the first deaths of Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition. Humble wooden plaques, names and Dates of passing young […]
  • 20. Arctic Seafarer
    A tale I tell of my sea-adventure Dark bitter watch gave way to light, As warm sun fought bitter cold. The day was bright, my bark strong. And I survived […]
  • 6. Spirits Where Bones Abound
    The freighter canoe pushed hard against Wind and current on the Koksoak River. As we approached shores of Ungava Bay. A desolate land where polar bears roam The meandering treeline, Evergreens […]
  • 2. Silurian Headlands
    Along rocky shores of Kennedy Channel, Wind and tide force abrasive groans from Colliding ice floes. As winter releases its Reluctant grip, flocks of chanting Dovekies Return to roost on higher […]
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