Caribou graze on the greening tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska in June, 2001. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Caribou graze on the greening tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska in June, 2001. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Writers’ Weir: ‘All Our Landforms Up For Sale’

A poem by Lin Davis.

“We, this people, on a small and lonely planet…”

— Maya Angelou

All our wetlands up for sale,

doze the tundra, rob the land,

slick hands stain, slice, impale.

Slopes of nursing caribou set sail,

ANWR mothers graze, tails fan,

all our plains rolled up for sale.

Fossil beds nurse oil, a holy grail,

drills drip, black oozes dino sand,

slick hands stain, slice, impale,

crush nests and flower trails,

crush dens, un-mother baby hands,

put all our kindness up for sale,

cage the arctic, collar grieving gales,

harm pingos, permafrost. Pan and ban

beauty, slick hands. Stain, slice, impale.

Small and lonely planet,

disband all thieves. Arctic wetlands frail,

soak in Gwitch’n care. Polar bears, expand.

Mountains, fly. Free your peaks and trails.

Wind, freshen. Coastal Plain, ride full sail.

— Lin Davis

• Lin Davis is a longtime Juneau resident, rafted the Kongakut River in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, heard Porcupine caribou click across the plain, rhymed and repeated lines and watched a villanelle braid itself with Brooks Range waters. The Capital City Weekly, which runs in the Juneau Empire’s Thursday editions, accepts submissions of poetry, fiction and nonfiction for Writers’ Weir. To submit a piece for consideration, email us at editor@juneauempire.com.

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