How to Survive a Glacial Meltdown

by Vivian Faith Prescott

Acquire animal skills.
Become a loon, a haunting crier,
swallowing the remains of this world underwater.

Learn to skin. Yourself.
Pull your feathered hood
over your head, adjust your chinstrap

to your throat.
Know where the sacred places are,
because there is no

safe place. Your homeland is melting
at .25 millimeters per year.
The ocean fills your boots,

there is too much salt in your food,
and the silverfish are hopping
on the linoleum.

Lately, you find yourself curling
up into the dark, nesting near
the water’s edge, the place

where your dense bones
park your truck and watch
the ocean jump the harbor’s breakwater again.

What it is that has awakened in you?
Your tremolo wavers
and the frequent hard rains

now sound like deer hooves—a clack and cry harmonic.
You know what I mean by that—
You want to run and fly at the same time.


Vivian Faith Prescott is Sámi-American and was born and raised on the small island of Wrangell in Southeastern Alaska. She’s the founding member of Blue Canoe Writers in both Sitka and Wrangell, Alaska with an emphasis on encouraging and mentoring Indigenous writers. Vivian lives at her family’s fishcamp in Wrangell, Alaska. She’s the author of one full length poetry collection and two chapbooks. Her short story collection is forthcoming from Boreal Books.


Filed under Poetry

18 responses to “How to Survive a Glacial Meltdown

  1. johnlmalone

    a haunting poem and some great imagery; I love also the pacing of your sentences

  2. shubhu23

    The poem is beautiful.

  3. Pingback: How to Survive a Glacial Meltdown – I am the World n World's Me – Stories from the mind n heart of a Lifetime Nomad

  4. Pavan Kumar

    Poem that is filled not with words, but with pain and despair 🙂

  5. Mentally Rebellious

    stilettos on the pavement…?

  6. A dreamer who can paint her dreams in gorgeous colors .

  7. Pingback: The Power of Words: A Selection of Poetry from 2016 |

  8. very beautiful and poignant.

  9. Loki Deautorin

    I like your poem. How long you write that poem?

  10. Caren

    Thank you for sharing Vivian! I like it!

  11. beautiful and powerful

  12. At once haunting and encouraging. . .”find the sacred places.”

  13. It is beautiful to empower the words through poetry to express our joy, as well as our worryes about the future of our planet.
    Good job Vivian.

  14. “The ocean fills your boots, there is too much salt in your food, and the silverfish are hopping on the linoleum.” Vivian, your exquisite words are terrifying and I wish the whole world could hear them.

  15. Radiance Starheart

    Interesting. I like it. Sounds like sufferable. “No safe place?” That must be rough. Deep and mysterious allowing for me to wonder what you mean. I like that. Cool.

  16. bhanugautam20838045

    Nice lines especiall no safe place

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