Written text
A Tundra Spring Day

Susan Webster, Cambridge Bay
Northern Writes 5, Entries from the
1997 NWT Writing Contest

The hill rises gently in the grey mist of dawn
The puddles glitter through panes of frost
Ridges of gravel run wet with rivers of dew
Northern Cotton dances on slender stems
A wind tossed ballet of white puffs
Puppies, balls of brown, black and white fluff,
Tackle one another and chase their stubby tails
Gulls screech and wheel over the opening water
Red Char hangs in rows of brilliant scarlet and silver
flags It’s another Tundra spring morning

A hunter sets out from the shore
He follows in the paths of his father’s father
Seeking caribou and muskoxen
The Sun circles, its reflection skimming over the Arctic
waters
The flashing of an ulu catches the light
An elder cleans the hide of a brown speckled seal
Ice floes are glittering crystal blue sculptures
Their icy core untouched by the midday light
It’s another Tundra day

The mirage grows above the horizon
Frozen cliffs rise above the jade-blue sea
The granite stones are crested with mosses,
Green, purples, yellows and whites cling
like lace to the pink and grey stone

A field, once dark and grey, blazes glorious
As fragile blue Lupins and tiny white, delicate flowers,
Bloom, in every crevice and crack
The harsh land is once again a meadow
It’s just another Tundra spring day

The pale blue water, calm and smooth
Barely ripples in the waning midnight sun
Gulls rest quietly on the darkening oceans flow
The Sun dips lightly into the horizons disc
Spinning streaks of gold, pink, purple, across the sky
The real and the reflection one perfect whole
The ever changing, ever changing
Intoxicating Spring on the Tundra