Published on Academy of American Poets (

When White Hawks Come

I dreamt        the spirit of the codfish:

          in rafters of the mind;

fly out into the winter’s

           blue night;

 mirth off alder       tendrils sashay;

 while I set up

             my winter tent;

 four panels long—beams suspend

 I sit & pull blubber strips             aged in a poke bag;

 I’m shadowing the sun                    as a new moon icicle

 time melts    when white                     hawks come.


Copyright © 2020 by dg nanouk okpik. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 30, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Traveling in dream state, waking up, as fast as I could, to write this piece, in bed. The dream ‘sashays’ as the poem is in constant movement but ‘suspended’ in old man forest. I stayed there in the blue night in ‘mirth,’ rapture, and in laughter.”

—dg nanouk okpik


dg nanouk okpik

dg nanouk okpik is the author of Corpse Whale (University of Arizona Press, 2012), which won the American Book Award. She is Inupiat, Inuit from Alaska.

Date Published: 2020-03-30

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