Songs In The Spirit
©Marlena Tanya Muchnick, 2003

Estimated Time of Arrival

At noon
Over Point Conception
The sun cuts a hat of light from the shadows
And caps the skull of the earth
Cutting the night into silhouette
From Canberra to Aleutia to the Arctic.
It slips and spills down across America
Into the cool Atlantic
Where it drowns...

The sun ignores the Eskimo men of Resolute
Dreaming near their spears,
Eating only memories of fat brown seals
Not yet arrived - their images still blowing
Through the ice, moles of the seas
Cracking through the nights
Like rollicking thieves.

The women sit,
Wrapped in patience, furred amulets
Facing the long, shadowed wilderness
Where nothing is certain beyond thickets
Of grass, or heather growing
On green-gray stone.
Or famine reawakening like a monster
At their backs.

They sit and carve images of white bears
Watching their reflections
Unchanging on black stone.
But now the Borealis rises with life
Through the vastness, twisting with color
Like a cracking whip!

It is a sign.
The seals return, children shout.
Women rise to ready the sleds
And the men will hunt.

They shall chant now, pray their thanks,
Their fate is in the Hand
That turns the earth,
From darkness' veil toward perfect Light.