Spirit of the Ice

My land is chang­ing
Within five life­times
It’s turn­ing green
Strange birds singing
Ones I’ve never seen


River’s course now unpre­dictable
From ris­ing waters vio­lently
Lift­ing giant boul­ders
From rest­ing peace­fully
On its edge


Per­mafrost soft and struc­ture less
Is no longer per­ma­nent
Thrushes lan­guid not migrat­ing south
Artic fox and oth­ers I see no more
Only ones that have no indige­nous names


Our rein­deer los­ing graz­ing ground
As we switch to deer and elk
On for­mer lichen pas­tures
The tun­dra chang­ing scenery
Boggy mud sapling wood and grass


The strength of the polar bear
Lies locked deep within the ice
I see the great white one melt­ing
As the griz­zlies and browns move in


To northerly waters
Salmon depart to swim
As barn owls fly away
New types of fungi
Rot­ting my house
My barn, my sledge


Our cul­ture as well is melt­ing
Grand­chil­dren will never see
The exact old ways
As the birth of folk­lore
Swiftly becomes
The spirit of the ice













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