a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
“Dovdna is a very simple joik that the child can easily recognize.”
~ Elin Kåven & Jungle Svonni
with ancestors clutching hands nearby.
I was born with eyes splashed
with the witness of distant stars.
Born as morning slipped
from night into the neighborhood,
as the doe leaped through the still silhouette
of the barn tree and ran down the dirt road.
Born to conjure glaciers into a traditional
song with sound drawn on coastlines.
And here I am, new from mask of night,
somewhere between sunset and gray light,
where I’ve burrowed out from beneath
the dreams my ancestor women have chanted up
to inhabit this present shape, to inhabit
this rain drenched day intoned with
silt-laden words, like wind over grassflats.
* Elin Kåven & Jungle Svonni, of Beneath the Northern Lights, are my first yoik (joik) teachers.
Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised on the small island of Wrangell, Alaska, Kaachxana.áak’w, in Southeast Alaska, on the land of the Shtax’heen Kwáan. She lives and writes as a climate witness in Lingit Aaní at her family’s fishcamp. She is a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi and a founding member of the first LGBTQIA group on the island. She’s the author of several poetry collections and works of non-fiction and fiction. Along with her daughter, Vivian Mork Yéilk’, she co-hosts the award-winning Planet Alaska Facebook page and the Planet Alaska column appearing in the Juneau Empire.