Rouse with hunger or indifference
to a morning darker than the night
Shake the season from your fur and rise
to stand inseperable from the snow
Below the ice swim seals thick with blood
So shaking somnolence from your brow
you crawl like a man across the drift
smelling for prey, intentions sharp as stone
Wind of knives and fury born of stars
May not deter a giant built of ice and claws
Unless the sleep of solstices be on him
He, Son of Sedna and the Northern Waste
Polar Bear Dreams Himself Swimming
Turn and dive and dream
beneath the breaking floes
and weightless sing your name.
Does star light pierce the surface of the sea?
Or do you navigate by other sight?
Not easy on the frozen land,
you seem more elegant below . . .
Below the ice and waves which you do churn
Below the turning sublunary world . . .
Now all within is white: Star, Snow, Bear, Light.
About the Author: Dr. Ari Berk is a writer, visual artist, folklorist/mythologist, screenwriter, and film consultant. His publications have included works on myth and ancient cultures, as well as popular books for both children and adults. Ari’s most recent titles are Death Watch, Mistle Child and Lych Way (The Undertaken Trilogy) which the School Library Journal called "reminiscent of the classic gothic works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson"; Nightsong (illustrated by Loren Long); The Secret History of Giants (winner of a NCTE Notable Award), The Secret History of Mermaids, and The Secret History of Hobgoblins. Ari holds degrees in Ancient History and American Indian Studies, as well as a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Culture. He has studied at Oxford University in England and, at the University of Arizona, was mentored by Pulitzer Prize-winning Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Mythic Imagination Institute (Atlanta, Georgia). Ari and his wife, Renaissance scholar Dr. Kristen McDermott, currently live at the edge of a wood in the heart of Michigan. They are both professors in the English department at Central Michigan University. Visit him on the web at: www.AriBerk.com
Copyright © 2004 by Ari Berk. The poem not be reproduced in any form without the author’s express written permission.