Autumn in the Alaska Range
Drive north when the braided glacial rivers
have begun to assume their winter green.
When crossing Broad Pass, you might see
the shimmer of caribou moving on a distant ridge
or find a dark abacus of berries in the frost
on the boggy trail to Summit Lake. Beyond this,
the endless mountains curving like a scimitar.
And in the querulous mind, the yearning heart,
a sudden immeasurable calm.
“A Poem in its Place” is the ninth video travel journal I made during our recent trip to Alaska. This one is special because we stumbled across a poem in the field, as it were, and our host Charlie Johnston read it out-loud. Turns out it was installed as part of a Poetry in Place Project sponsored annually by the State of Alaska. It was Tom Sexton’s “Independence Mine.” It was the first time I’d read his poetry, but I bought two of his books on the way back in to Anchorage.