Just like the Sugar Bird in Spring,
I walk the tundra towards my path.
The children play ball in Kungitok Playground,
I watch over them.
The Sugar Bird perches on jagged rock.
Red house on the shore,
your reflection fades in the clear water.
Daylight casts a shadow upon my soul.
I am not ready to bid “adieu” to this world.
Sugar Bird take your flight over the water.
Skipping stones will leave ripples of my memory behind.
Like a cloud fading in the sky, I will always stand here,
my footsteps imprinted in the red dust.
In the distance, I can see the stars.
The sun glows at dawn and quickly passes through the day.
At night you will find me in the dark – contemplating,reflecting,questioning.
The hunter returns,
with the seal hunt complete.
A pulsing heart soon to stop.
A memory to never forget.
© aim 2013
This poem is inspired by and dedicated to Jerome, an amazing friend who passed away from cancer four years ago this spring. He was a unique person, special to us all.
The last two years of his life were spent working in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. A place dear to his heart. He captured 961 photos of the arctic scenery, and this is where my inspiration came from to write this poem for him.
Jerome wrote to us of his experiences.
“The night sky is amazing. Lots of stars and the moon seems so close. In this place,close to the top of the earth,you can see the moon rotate around 360 degrees.The air and water are clean and very quiet. Usual temperatures now,around -30 to -40 c. and -60 when blizzards blow in. Occasionally,the winds blow in from the south-west and the temperature rises to -15 degrees. When that happens, it feels like +10 c., almost warm and spring-like.
The excitement about the warm weather translates into ski-doo racing and tons of outdoor activity. Kids playing in snow mounds and running around having a good time.
The women here are really into family. They love their kids and everyone has a strong sense of family and extended family. It’s great to see. They laugh out loud at stuff that goes on within the family with really good belly laughter….and there is a lot of laughter.
Many people go ice-fishing on Saturday and Sunday. It’s o.k. to just walk up to someone who has dug a hole and ask to join in. I have not tried yet because the workload is gigantic.
Not much socializing between office staff, everyone usually goes home and watches t.v. or vegging. Gonna try to change that with card games.
It’s Sunday and I am in the office doing a few more T-4 forms and another year-end tonight.
It’s peace and quiet up here, the scenery is beautiful and I feel good.
The last time we saw Jerome – we visited him in a hospital, sipping on non-alcoholic Becks beer, eating ripe mangoes and belly laughing out loud.