The Night Sky at Point Hope (A Whaler to His Son)

The northern lights have been out nearly every night lately. Here they frame two umiak – seal skin boats used for the spring whale hunts.

A Whaler to his Son

This poem is

an empty sigluaq

a seal skin boat

a lookout camp

on a new lead

This poem is

your grandfather’s parka

a snow squall on the horizon

a polar bear’s track

imprinted in the snow

This poem is

a fluke flipped and sounding

in a silk-white wake

like stars

washed over the Chukchi

This poem is

our village

carved like scrimshaw

on an ivory dawn

the dim Arctic sun

small and perfect

as a bowhead’s eye.


*A sigluaq is an ice cellar dug into the tundra used to store whale meat (and other meat)

14 thoughts on “The Night Sky at Point Hope (A Whaler to His Son)

      • Oh, I’m so glad you understand! People from the Deep South always try to fight me on it, but I just tell them they haven’t met the heart of the city yet.

        But as much as I love Richmond, I wish that I could also be having the kind of traveling experience you all are!

  1. This is amazing photography. If you could please post this on the William H. Seward Yacht Club facebook and share your experiences with us. You need to do this! Most sailors imagine warm places to dream about but this certainly takes my breath away.

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