Inuit Figure – a poem by Tony Lucas

Inuit Figure

bear’s head
glance cast back
across the shoulder

stance of a minotaur
heft to break down doors
to split pack ice on Arctic shores

the mask behind
bare vertebrae,
textures of grey-dappled stone,

suggest the shaman, known
to have powers of seeing
his own skeleton

a raven circles
dark among cypress
sun falls on copper lattice

burnishing patina
prayers are unlocked
from winter walls

after ‘Bear in shamanic transformation’ David Ruben Piqtoukan
ca. 1991. De Young Collection, San Francisco


Tony Lucas lives in London, south of the river. His most recent collection, Unsettled Accounts, was published by Stairwell Books.   Now retired from the Anglican ministry, his poetry has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic.   He is currently working on a sequence of poems about being in the ‘here and now’, which may appear toward the end of the year.


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