Windigo

(Dedicated to the memory of my beloved foundation bitch "the second time around": KARCAJOU'S DREAMA OF WINDIGO)

Over the ocean I brought you here,
To this wild place,
Last lair and ultimate haunt
     of Windigo.

The North is His castle and final redoubt.
Here He lurks:
Yukon's rivers and frozen lakes
     ooze Windigo.

I am His child, Dreama my name.
He dreamed me:
Half-pint husky, obsidian-eyed,
     from Windigo.

Ancient evil aboriginal Spirit,
Feared of First Nations;
Black arctic night, chill mountain wind
     is Windigo.

When river-ice shatters under laden sled,
Dog-drivers drown;
When blizzard blows, when bear-claws rend
     dines Windigo.

When the grub runs out, trails buried deep,
All hope gone,
When the way is lost at sixty below
     smiles Windigo.

His hairs are bear's claws, His teeth are chainsaws.
Rend! Tear! Devour!
His belly, the blizzard, His arse, black ice —
     that's Windigo.

I am His lure, His plaything, His toy.
I lured you!
Over ten thousand miles I have carried your soul
     for Windigo.

The task of my life was to fetch you to Him.
Through my black eyes,
Relentlessly, lovingly, your every move
     sees Windigo.

The bold, the brave ones, the proud and alone —
All the best men
Lost without trace in the vast black North
     feed Windigo.

I am the tool of His merciless love.
Come with me!
Dreama will lead down forgotten trails
     to — WINDIGO!

(This poem was written for recitation. The first and third lines of the stanzas each have four accented feet, the second lines have three heavily accented feet. The poem should be read in a crooning, hypnotic tone; the final repetition of "Windigo" should be shrieked!)

— J. Jeffrey Bragg (December 1993)