arched-auroraPart 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 arched aurora I climbed, at her moun-
Tains, I listened, accounts of earth eruptions,
Migrations of Arctic stone-tool peoples, Viking
Interlopers were failure-doomed at first sail.

“Tell your people to leave Greenland,” Moon
Sister advised. “Ice will reclaim your fiords,
Take to south sailing seas beyond Vinland.”
My heart heavy, when I told my clan, they
Laughed. In old age, I saw Greenland pasture-
Lands cold-blighted, livestock died, home-
Steads abandoned in ruin, Vikings defeated.

Time suspended, I have learned about final
Days of Vikings. If faithful and obedient,
Upon final breath, souls rise to Moon Sister,
Walk amongst silver mountains, learn of
Storied sagas. For slovenly of us, their souls
Were bound to Ice Brother, grinding pains,
Unrest until melting into eternal seas.

My final secret I revealed, where did I, Brithe,
Learn of this tradition, of Inuit and Vikings,
Sharing of legends? On shores of Helluland,
I met an old wanderer, some say outcast or
Sacred shaman, I knew him as Jacopee, eyes
And words fixed upon my heart, Arctic mys-
Teries shared by flame of sandstone lamps.

In this poem, shieldmaiden Brithe and shaman Jacobpee united
their voices, chorus of young and o
ld, two divergent cultures
joined in free verse as Moon Sister and Ice Brother.  

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