BY JAN HAAG

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO





I AM INNUIT




I have known many husbands, children, reindeer.
I have known many lovers in the long dark night
and the nights when the sun never dies. The life
I and my daughters, my sons, husbands and lovers
endure is not easy. Food is scarce. Treks are
long. I am old. It is custom when you are old


and food is scarce, when old and you can no longer
carry burdens from the ice to the land, when tired,
having seen much of this world, and, perhaps, of
the other, having spent fragile summers, and long
winters watching the ice, watching the snow come
down and down and down, veils deep to the earth's


core, which, they say, is made of hot metal, it is
custom, when living is hard, for the old, such as
I, to stay on the ice, under the white sky, where
you scarcely see clouds roll, because all is clouds,
you scarcely see snow fall, for all is snow, you
scarcely feel the ice freeze, for all is frozen. I


have stayed on the ice, wearing my fur hood, boots,
blankets, the fur turned inward for warmth. I sit
far out on the ice, facing the eastern sun. Today
I've been humming. I feel the chill inside the
warmth holding my feet, touching my limbs. I love
this land, the sonorous sky, the color of ice. I


will sit nights and days humming, singing a little,
perhaps. Hunger has passed, my head is light. I
haven't been so light since a girl. Then I flew
with the wind, fluttered as the birds of scarlet
throat, hovered by the dappled falls, in the spring,
near the fawn. I can walk if I wish. But I sit


humming, humming this immensity. Life seems a long
time ago. I cannot think long thoughts. Happiness
prickles my skin, wells from my bones, guts, making
me laugh. I shake with irrepressible glee. Soon, I
shall sleep not to wake, not to dream. The most
beautiful sleep. I shall rise as the sun and fall


as the snow. The warmth and the chill steal over
me like a child, silent as the dogs on the ice. In
the spring when my people return, if wolves have not
torn them, or water not claimed them, they will find
my clothes and my bones. Taking the clothes, they
will clean them for wear, thrust my bones through


splits in the ice, breathe my breath I left in the
wind. I rest easily, wait for repair, refreshment of
spirit. I will come again as the hawk and the dove.
At one with the crocus, the glacier, I sit on the ice
humming, the chill stealing into the warmth, the cold.







Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@janhaag.com




OTHER POEMS ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND LANDSCAPE OF AMERICA
Arizona Desert

Challenger

Cicada

Confidence

Doris, 12/20/97

Dour, 12/12/97

George Coluzzi

The Great God Leshikar

I Am Innuit

Potlatch

McDonald Observatory

Rio Grande

Stonecypher, 10/24/97

10-33*

Two Tomatoes

The Woman Who Had No Necklaces



TRAVEL STORIES ABOUT AMERICA

Mission Walk

Crossing the Country





BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context