Thursday, March 02, 2023

In memoriam Claude

Claude, February 2020
I hung two sealskins on my wall....
Some people say
'Oh! the poor dear things!'
with pity in their hearts,
while chewing bloody steak
and cuddling in fur coats.
And I think of **
magnificently himself: a Man,
hunter by destiny
spearing the seals,
with no guilt in his soul,
no pity in his heart,
but beaming pride
that his day-work was done:
the best for his kin---
and that's all he could do...
And I think of
Kakee, his wife,
cleaning, stretching, smoothing, sewing the skins
with a skill
as old as the Woman called Eve,
and bringing me the gift
with beaming pride:
the best for a friend---
and that's all she could give...
And I wonder why
we worry about who eats whom
when Life is a cycle?
We all prey, and we grow
feeding on each other.
A seal
a breathing tomato
an egg that could be born
a drink of pure water
a flower for a vase
some grass to walk upon
the warmth of the sun, of a smile, of a body
a poem for a soul
and stars to fill a dream.
I hung two sealskins on my wall...
A Man must face himself
and accept it!
Claude Prévost Gamble
 (June 1970)

** And I think of Claude who died today two years ago.
Thanks for all. De tout coeur!

Claude during a storm on Moose River,
whilst working as a nurse
at an Indian hospital;
James Bay, Winter 1955


  1. The poem reminded me of our lives in Alaska. Been to villages to record stories and they treated us with some seal meat. I was surprised how I liked it and the Natives around the table smiled. It was a good moment in time.

    1. I can vividly imagine that, Bill. Did your recorded stories get published? I'd like to listen and/or read.

    2. I was doing these type projects when I was at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The project belong to them, I don't have any copies. They now have a website with some of their projects on it. I believe the public can have access.

      Here is the link:

    3. Ah, thanks so much for the link, Bill. It's bookmarked and I look forward to browsing the site.

  2. So true, it's a cycle. May Claude rest in peace.

    1. I am so glad, so thankful that Claude stumbled upon Omnium and enriched my life.

  3. Un magnífic poema que parla de la cruesa de viure en un indret inhòspit i de la hipocresia dels altres criticant la caça d'un animal (que pels primers és la seva manera d´alimentar-se), mentre mengen animals i es vesteixen amb les seves pells. Com bé diu, la vida és un cercle on ens alimentem els uns dels altres.
    M'ha encantat llegir-la. Gràcies!.

    Aferradetes, Sean.

    1. Como ya he dicho, estoy muy contenta y agradecida de que Claude conociera Omnium y enriqueciera mi vida.
      Aferradetes, Paula.

  4. I miss Claude and Jams.

    What more can I say...

  5. Claude was a beautiful person and a real diamond in the blogosphere.

    1. She was, indeed, dear Mark.
      I hope life is treating you kindly, and the words come easy to you. Any new poems?

  6. Thank you for sharing. Claude was such a good person. I miss her all the time:(