Magic Words for Caribou Hunting

by EDWARD FIELD (1924 – )

You, you caribou
yes you
long legs
yes you
long ears
you with the long neck hair—
From far off you’re little as a louse;
Be my great swan, fly to me,
big bull cari-bou-bou-bou.

Caribou Bull (Rangifer Tarandus), Denali National Park, Alaska

Put your footprints on this land—
this land I’m standing on
is rich with the plant food you love.
See, I’m holding in my hand
the reindeer moss you’re dreaming of—
so delicious, yum, yum, yum—
Come, caribou, come.

Come on, move them bones,
move your leg bones back and forth
and give yourself to me.
I’m here,
I’m waiting
just
for
YOU
you, you, caribou
APPEAR!
COME HERE!

from: Eskimo Songs and Stories (1973)
reprinted with permission of the author

Edward Field

Edward Field grew up on Long Island, NY. He began writing poetry during the second World War, when he served in the Air Force. Among his award-winning books are Stand Up Friend With Me and Counting Myself Lucky. His literary memoir, The Man Who Would Marry Susan Sontag: And Other Intimate Literary Portraits of the Bohemian Era, is a must-read for an intimate look at the bohemian scene of post-WW2.

Edward Field Contemporaries
Allen Ginsberg
Theodore Roethke
Robert Hillyer
Pablo Neruda

Share