I have never really left Alaska.
Its geography is fixed in my heart;
How the aurora on a winter night
Will take flight, stretching across the whole sky,
Or how the sly midnight sun casts shadows
Across a free-flowing wilderness stream.
All I have to do is sit by a stream
And like a remembered dream, Alaska,
Appearing out of memories’ shadows,
Memories that lie deep within my heart,
Take shape like the moon in the autumn sky
When thin clouds depart on a windy night.
In winter the day hours are mostly night,
It’s easy to walk on a frozen stream.
An owl will take flight in the silent sky
Above the taigascape of Alaska
The Brooks Range, like a slowly beating heart,
Casts deep, dark, and slowly moving shadows.
When snow begins to melt in the shadows
And the flood of sunlight reduces night,
The sight of flowing water cheers the heart
And people launch canoes upon the streams,
Both great and small, that criss-cross Alaska.
Heading north, a flock of swans in the sky.
Days arrive, long and warm with sun-filled sky,
When it seems as if there are no shadows
To be found anywhere in Alaska,
And people sleep less during the brief night,
Listening to the sound of nearby streams
That seems to soothe a busy mind and heart.
Cold comes quickly and falls upon the heart.
Winds start to pull the leaves into the sky.
All those years have slipped by me like a stream
Increasingly covered by long shadows.
I’m swiftly approaching that endless night,
The sight of the tundra of Alaska.
An Alaska lives deep within my heart.
During the night while standing on the sky
Shadows from the past like a stream flow by.