Saturday, March 2, 2013
They Say the Wells Are Freezing
The title is a line taken from “Winter News”, one of the early poems by the Alaskan poet and essayist John Haines who passed away two years ago today. He was a very dear friend whom I had the pleasure and honor to know during the last two decades of his life. John died in Fairbanks on March 2, 2011 at the age of 86 after months of declining health and I miss him just as much today as I did the day I learned he had left us. The world lost a truly unique visionary and Alaskan arts and letters are much diminished with his passing. John was a man as hard and uncompromising as the Alaskan tundra yet he managed to retain a soft and tender heart. He was a rare presence and one that will be greatly missed. Thinking of the final lines of “Winter News,” the snowman has truly called home one of his white-haired children.