Vivian Faith Prescott is a fifth generation Alaskan of Sámi heritage living on the small island of Wrangell, Alaska at her family's fishcamp. She's the founder and co-facilitator of Blue Canoe Writers and Flying Island Writers in Sitka and Wrangell. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska and a Ph.D. in Cross Cultural Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her poetry has appeared in Hawaii Pacific Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Poecology, and elsewhere. She's the author of a full-length poetry collection, The Hide of My Tongue (Plain View Press) and three chapbooks: Slick (White Knuckle Press) Sludge (Flutter Press), and Traveling With The Underground People (Finishing Line Press), including a short story collection, The Dead Go To Seattle (Boreal Books/Red Hen Press).
Ukiuq — Become Winter
skilĎi (North Sámi)
Covering of little bits of ice which hangs down loosely
on rough fabric, or on fur with the hair on, or in the hair or beard.
qaqiqsurniq (Aivilik Inuit)
Small pillar-like protrusions of snow formed after the soft
or less-compacted snow around animal tracks
has been eroded by a blizzard.
tjilla (Lule Sámi)
A hole or cave dug in the snow by birds or small animals
in order to stay warm and sheltered.
elakaq ukiuq (Yupik )
The hole in the ice has got water in it/the person making the hole
in the ice finally chipped all the way through the ice,
permitting the hole to fill with water.
Snow all the way up to the stomach.
kujjiniq (Aivilik Inuit)
Hole melted in the sea ice by a foreign object
such as sea-weed or a pebble.
Rounded formations of ice in saltwater
often attached to other ice.
aγiuppiniq (Greenlandic Inuit)
Wave-like snow drift on frozen sea or inland ice
caused by the wind.
An eroded soft snow mound resembling a tongue.
bergy bit (English)
Large chunk of glacier in the sea.
mau (Eastern Canadian Inuit)
Small ice floe that sinks when one steps onto it.
A snowdrift hanging on the side of a rock
or having a shape like the bow of a ship.
Be a snowstorm.
Snow collected in the trees
when it snows a lot without any wind.
mingullaut (Inuktitut) (Aivilik Inuit)
Fine, powdery snow which sifts in through cracks,
or settles on objects.
kusukaq (Central Siberian Yupik)
Glaciated spot where water has dripped
and frozen to the ground.
Joints or cracks in the ice which open and close
continuously like hinges during high and low tides,
but do not shift sideways.
tjalhvaldahkesne (South Sámi)
For a dog to be full of icicles.
*Ukiuq (North Alaskan Inuit, Inupiaq)
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.