Stone Circles: Labrador

len cropped

Stone Circles: Labrador
This set of poems is in memory of Leonard Budgell who was born in Labrador
and who wanted to show it to me. After he died I did get to see many of the places he loved.

this is where you lived
among hebron’s hills
here the garden
the graveyard
its picket fence

the torngat mountains rear
like mythical monsters
skies of lemon
and salmon
take away their bite

storm clouds lift
on the beach at iron strand
roseroot sedum glistens
the shorewater

caribou scapula
by an iron-red pool
in this valley
stone circles that anchored
thule hide tents

fine bundled hay
the scat of a bear
that has lunched on grass
an ursine artifact
song of the day

at saglek harbour
no one left now
to listen for
the almost noiseless feet
of caribou on muskeg

glacier worn mountains
one behind the other
you spent evenings
absorbing the order
in this solitude

languish languid limpid livid
you loved words
they came tripping out
like spring brook water

you spoke of henry and charlotte
how they collected
stone and bone scrapers
sculptures carved
from dog’s teeth

and of big millik
competent and honest
the way his face would break up
up into a hundred
heart-warming smiles

in a small cave at hebron
you ate with a friend
it was dark
all you could see were
his strong inuit teeth

you must have noticed
and forgotten to say
how water drops on horsetail
form perfect globes
capture the lowering sun

how i envy
whoever is in this stone grave
on the Iron Strand
who will never have to leave
labrador or these sunsets

len henry charlottehenry Voisey

Len Budgell, Charlotte Voisey, and Henry Voisey

Henry and Len both did radio work in the thirties and forties for the Hudson’s Bay Company in the North. Len and he remained friends all their lives.

Stone Circles was published in Skylark, UK, Issue 4, 2013

4 thoughts on “Stone Circles: Labrador

  1. Claudia, such rich, seductive words. The opening and closing of a huge chapter in your life. What great fortune. I commend you and will read what you’ve written all over again. I need to see those breathtaking sights.


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