PEACE

Written by: Sidney Beck

PEACE


Bergs dot the ocean, even  in June,  and 
Thick  fogs  clothe the Labrador shore early each morning.
The sea ice rocks slowly in the harbor from wind and sun. 
As  I roast my fish on the warming gravel beach
The air grows clear and crystalline for  miles to the horizon
And  I  hear only
The seagull cries
Over the lone level water  
And tumbling streams laughing  their way over mossed boulders old as time,
Streams known only  to me and the fish.

We know the splendor of  the yellow arctic poppy in bloom in the long days of July,  
The wild goose arrowing south high above the shore before the sun-dogs of October,
And the incandescent rainbow of the aurora in bloom in January.  

Polar bears hunt ringed seals along the coast, whales  call in the bay,  
And caribou herds migrate to their calving grounds among 
The ankle-deep turf of tundra with mushrooms in an abundance of sizes and colours,
Bilberry, red mountain cranberry, and crowberry, which bears graze  in late summer. 
There is life here  -  and pristine growth, primeval   and pure.
I need only a simple cabin - black spruce for walls and white birch bark for roof,  
And a boat  -  and my trap line  mended.

And I shall have peace here
Among  the evening green and white of this cold coast
With unnamed  summer streams running warm into unnamed bays and hidden coves  
Between high  cliffs rising  straight from the sea,  
Their wind-   and wave-scoured faces looking  straight east over the foggy Atlantic.