Alaska

“crossing water in Alaska”, “Sitkoh Lake Alaska” and “winter not in Alaska”

In Poetry by Tatiana Dolgushina

crossing water in Alaska

I’m in the creek standing alone, I told the bear story last night, there is
no escape from the island surrounded by water, once you
get on and live with the bears, why do I fear to go to the place
where it is familiar with the bears, it is not the bears I fear, but it
is the storm I fear, the one that comes quickly like a hot sun I fear
and even the bears hide, who knows if even the men hide, the cold
creek cools my feet and my legs, until it feels like ice, and already I’m
too far in to turn back, now I keep going until the other side, where the
eagles sit on the rocks that turn into ocean, I have no idea, I have no ideas
as to where I stand, I find myself in the river, it wasn’t a creek after all,
it wasn’t as small as a creek now it’s a raging river, nobody suggests that
anybody should cross it, the trees surround the rivers like protection, the
mountain water rages speak for themselves, the actions without words are
louder in the tundra, because it is so silent until the familiar creek, inviting
your self into its comforts, something is familiar but unsure what, maybe
it is too late to turn back now, the bears dominate the island but that’s not
fear, the fear is the hot storm coming in soon, right now; become a
mountain if you can, become a solid canyon rock if you can, hide behind
the material if you can, and more than ever I want to be alone, my mind
untouched by the minds of the men, I untouched by the aloneness other
than the creek, you find yourself in there and now


Sitkoh Lake, Alaska

My mother was right.
I washed my hands with the life of the river.
The cold will take hold of you, she said
when I was six years old
we lived in Siberia and she made soup
so that the cold would not take hold of me
so that I would grow and prosper.
And when she was my age now she left
Siberia for the warm tropics
she said she got sick of that constant
icy penetration into her small bones
and she’s always wanted to run. Who knows
if without me she would’ve run farther
than I could ever show her the soul
of the birch trees and their barks
flaking all over my furniture. If
ever the paintings could show her the snow
a different way than she saw it
when she stood holding a rifle
against the local mafia on the 8th floor.


winter not in Alaska

the mist in Alaska was always like this: constant, nobody told it
that it was wrong, because it just was the mist in Alaska
and maybe one day it will cease to be, the same
mist in Alaska, it will move to Canada, across those
mountain ranges where there are no roads. I know this
better than the lovers of the tropics who talk of rain,
I know the mist better than the researchers who write grants
to think about the rain, I know it better, once in a summer
when I was the mist, and the rain, but not a scientist to talk
and talk I knew it better without talk, I wanted
always to stay in love, with the mist in Alaska that was myself
in love with myself but outside, across the range,
where there are no roads outside myself.

About the Author

Tatiana Dolgushina

Tatiana Dolgushina is a Russian-born scientist and writer. She grew up in five different countries and spoke three languages from an early age. Her latest work tries to understand the immigrant identity within nature. In the fall she will begin her MFA at Oregon State University.