Creative Writing News

Ursa Minor: Poetry inspired by real Northern news

Grey Mountain, in Canada's Yukon Territory, with dramatic early morning light. In the foreground a snow-covered road winds its way through the landscape, inviting travel or adventure.

“Over hunting creating hardship for Kaska, says Ross River Dena Council.” CBC. Nov 4, 2016.

 

In the Killing Fields

the shape of all your triumphant failures fall

in the shadows of broken mountains waiting


 

to be mounted on the walls of suburban bungalows, flesh

softened in death, made firm

 

by costco memberships, petrochemicals, four hundred

dollar polar tinted sun glasses made

 

for seeing in the snow without

seeing the snow, so

 

now the wind has changed, carries

the burnt odour of buckshot, crushed

 

gorse sage, the sound

of dogs baying, men laughing, beer

 

bottles breaking, saw

bones sawing bones with rotating blades, bones

 

being fed to the baying dogs, now

you broadcast this shame all over town

 

static-filled news crackling through like the CBC playing

in an empty room, heard

 

through the bravado-thin walls by dark-faced

old men with lines in those dark faces like

 

old maps to old places whose names were all just

recently forgotten or renamed, old men

 

sitting in post-office cafes, drinking

milk in black tea, seeing

 

your carharts with the tags still hanging

from the back like fresh-killed birds, shake

 

those old heads with the old map faces mapping

some kind of anger, some kind of sorrow, close

 

their quiet eyes, say

nothing when you arrive

 

cloaked in laughter, delighted

with the novelties of blood and cold, try

 

for the camaraderie of killers, saying

hey hey hey, up in those killing fields, eh?

 

to these old men sitting

alone or together at half-empty tables


Photo credit: istockphoto/MajaPhoto

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