Sunrise Service

The Heart of the Sourdough

There where the mighty mountains bare their fangs unto the moon,
There where the sullen sun-dogs glare in the snow-bright, bitter noon,
And the glacier-glutted streams sweep down at the clarion call of June.
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 There where the livid tundras keep their tryst with the tranquil snows;

There where the silences are spawned, and the light of hell-fire flows

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 Into the bowl of the midnight sky, violet, amber and rose.

There where the rapids churn and roar, and the ice-floes bellowing run;
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  Where the tortured, twisted rivers of blood rush to the setting sun –

I’ve packed my kit and I’m going, boys, ere another day is done.

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I knew it would call, or soon or late, as it calls the whirring wings;

It’s the olden lure, it’s the golden lure, it’s the lure of the timeless things,
And to-night, oh, God of the trails untrod, how it whines in my heart-strings!
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I’m sick to death of your well-groomed gods, your make-believe and your show;

I long for a whiff of bacon and beans, a snug shake-down in the snow,

A trail to break, and a life at stake, and another bout with the foe.

With the raw-ribbed Wild that abhors all life, the Wild that would crush and rend,
I have clinched and closed with the naked North, I have learned to defy and defend;
Shoulder to shoulder we have fought it out – yet the Wild must win in the end.
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  I have flouted the Wild. I have followed its lure, fearless, familiar, alone;

By all that the battle means and makes I claim that land for my own;

Yet the Wild must win, and a day will come when I shall be overthrown.
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  Then when as wolf-dogs fight we’ve fought, the lean wolf-land and I;

Fought and bled till the snows are red under the reeling sky;
Even as lean wolf-dog goes down will I go down and die.
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The Poem: The Heart of the Sourdough
by Robert Service

Photographs by Kuskulana Steve, January 19, 2008

All right reserved.

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23 Responses to Sunrise Service

  1. Nozee says:

    brilliant    BRILLIANT    BRILLIANTThe city dweller learning from natureit is here that we clearly see  without the fog of a city bee    we made life a beast of complexity      in actual it is plain and for free- Le Snoop

  2. tressie says:

    Incredible – what a beautiful poem – and your photography encapsulates it perfectly – thank you for sharing the poetry – i loved it….ttfn ~ tressie

  3. Vieille Ourse says:

    (***) My comments will be very short as I cannot find the right words to describe the beauty of this poem, your pictures and your love for nature (***)

  4. Suki x says:

    Hi Steve
    This is beautiful the pictures match the words so well.   Thanks for your visit and your kind comments
    Love Suki x

  5. Bill says:

    As always your photos are great, and I loved the poem. I was inspired to put on
    warm boots and take a walk, but remembered that it 1 above zero  so I let the
    wild win today.

  6. Jim says:

    Amazing shots.  I would be so spell bound that I think I might forget that I have a camera with me.  Really good shots Steve.  Thanks for sharing.

  7. L e e says:

    I have a friend that lived on the Coast of Alaska for several years (complements of the Coast Guard) that has told me several times of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets there.  Your pictures bring her descriptions to life. 

  8. account deleted says:

    Steve, this is your best post EVER! I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  —Liz

  9. I says:

       You know…. it would really be somethin if you were able to put together a book of Alaska or even just the Anchorage areas and get it out on the market. I do think it would be a big hit. Your photographs get better and better.

  10. Nessa says:

    Your photos are so stunning that words fail me – and the poem…………it could have been written just for you Steve.

  11. Kimmy says:

    Steve this is a wonderful poem to match your photos! Love that orange sky!

  12. Ann says:

    Stunning, simply stunning.

  13. Barb says:

    What a spectacular sunset. 🙂  Love that second image with the bird captured in flight.
    I have a lot to catch up on but my eyes are getting heavy and I\’ll have to return later to finish up the entries I\’ve missed.
    I hope you have a wonderful Sunday Steve!  Thanks for welcoming my return.
    Barb 🙂

  14. elizabeth says:


  15. brook says:

    Hey Steve.  I don\’t know why I am always shocked by your pictures and how wonderful they are.  I shlouldn\’t be shocked because I know they are going to be great.  Does that make sense?
    Anyway, I love the fourth picture with the clouds that look…well…I can\’t quite out my finger on the right word but I love it all the same.
    Thanks for stopping by.  I always enjoy your visits.  Take care.

  16. Cindy says:

    I love the second one with the eagle (?) soaring … and the sixth one.  I could stare at those all day.  Absolutely breathtaking!!

  17. Sheila says:

    Hey Steve!What a glorious way to worship God\’s beauty, by becoming a part of the landscape, something you do so well.
    My favorite is the fourth, with the stark snow covered mountain tempered by the soft golden heavens.
    bear cubs hugs to you :o}

  18. account deleted says:

    Steve— Thank you. Your comment meant more to me then you will ever know! Hugs, Liz

  19. Aimee says:

    wow…just beautiful…
    *~* :o) if you do not have a smile today… :o) I will give you one of mine… :o) *~*

  20. Charles says:

    Well don\’t you go dieing I tell ya, he he your photos are poetry in theresevles Steve, Simply wonderfull. How nice to see skys full of color. I hear all these reports of how fast the artic is dissapearing and the ice is melting at a faster rate then ever, this is just not good. Hey you left a missage, nop, did not get any invits that I know of, say sorry and try again if possible, I\’m not trying to be a hermit, ok well maybe I\’m am but ,you know   he he I\’m alive and well now   yaaaa.

  21. Sheila says:

    Steve,had to come back and tell you, I see the angel (was it Toodie who first mentioned it?) in your picture #5. Lovely how angels just seem to appear in our lives out of no where! (smile)

  22. elesia says:

    hi how are u i like that one

  23. PEP says:

    Yeah, don\’t die on us. Take a well deserved rest if need be (smile).

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