To The Coyote Tracks


To The Coyote Tracks

I would not hound you,
But I feel like I might fool
a bear,
bulk with raised arms
a strait-jacketed pretense
of harm–
while you, I fear, or one of you,
would see through my tented roar,
would, from the collective cower,
Just understand,
I can hold rocks in these here hands–
you too, Bear.


A little poem to my friend, the coyote, who left the tracks above.  I’ve seen him/her a couple of times in the past few months, but always, thankfully, on his (or her) lonesome.  Apparently, you can tell it’s a coyote track by the distinctive X, which is most visible in the bottom-most track. 

The bear up here should be hibernating for now.  But we saw at least eight or nine of them last year.   (Yes, they are absolutely beautiful and yes, they freak me out.) 

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18 Comments on “To The Coyote Tracks”

  1. Steve King Says:

    We have coyotes and bear around our remote cabin in the Northern Catskills. Always exciting. The bears always get to the blueberries before I do, but I don’t stand on ceremony. They’re welcome to whatever they like…within reason.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha! Yes. I am in the Catskills. I still am always just a bit awe-struck by a bear. (Although they do scare me.) But they really are pretty extraordinary. Coyotes mainly just scare me! Thanks. k.

  2. brian miller Says:

    ha. i dont know how much i would be flinging rocks at either unless i had no choice….i def think the cyote a little more cunning, while the bear is straightforward….it would just rage on while the coyote would be sneaky….

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    When I first moved here, I often heard the distinctive yip-howl of coyotes in the night. Now they have mostly been exterminated within a hundred miles of any urban area. In my admittedly somewhat limited experience, Coyote is a trickster, not a fighter. One rock toss and you would be alone, if you ever even saw him. (I wouldn’t leave any pets out unattended, though.) Bears are something else, and this poem reflects the awe and respect mixture which I feel is totally appropriate. It is snowing here, finally, and I am getting revved up for some Olympic skating and skiing–more in the mood for it than when it is 60 degrees, anyway.. I hope you also get just enough of that white stuff for your winter sporting activities and not too much.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I don’t know that I’d really throw a rock at anything! Well, I might if there was a confrontation, but I wanted to put the picture up so thought I should come up with a poem. The lone coyotes I’ve seen always do run away, but the sounds of a pack are quite scary–even to bear I think–we saw a few up a tree once (mother and cubs) after there’d been a lot of howling in the area.

      We did get out yesterday evening after my work day– now in City for an extended trip–but that’s okay too, I guess–

  4. claudia Says:

    oh i never saw one in real….and they would freak me out as well… both…

  5. Coyotes live among us, even in the big cities. Our tomcat prefers to go out on his adventures at night, and I worry about him. So often, coyote, even bear, come into the suburbs, even the inner city, at night, searching for good smelling scraps of wasted food, and defenseless cat & small dogs. I love to come upon cougar, bear, wolf, coyote tracks crossing the deer & elk herds tracks here in the NW. Very nice piece. I will look for the X in some of the tracks now.

  6. Abhra Pal Says:

    I have never known about the x – it sounds thrilling – thanks for that first. I like the contrast you build in your poem.

  7. How fascinating! A coyote. You surely have a very interesting life. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  8. That is cool about the x in the paw print. I didnt know that. Hopefully the coyote will be as wary of you as you are of him……..awesome to see the tracks and know how close you are to the wild.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes–I feel very lucky–and honestly lucky when I see something, but so far all my sightings have been very nonconfrontational. (Thank goodness!) Once we had a bear outside our tent, which was quite terrifying. k.

  9. janehewey Says:

    straight-jacketed pretense of harm — such a great line/phrase.
    it seems to point a finger at the habit of fear. This poem reminded me that I can be suddenly afraid of a dog, or even a small domestic cat in any given moment when caught off-guard. I think it is the unpredictable animal behavior. Although I have heard coyotes, I can’t remember ever seeing one. I prefer observing bears from a distance, too.

  10. janehewey Says:

    also want to add how I love your title; the speaking directly to the tracks and standing strong in their collective face.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha–thanks, Jane. I feel in a way like the poem was mainly an excuse to post the picture, but thanks for you kind comments. The coyotes I’ve seen look mainly like very large slightly shaggier german shepherd type dogs.

  11. Coyote will skitter if a human is near. We have them and wolves in the national parks here in the Abruzzo province of Italy. Both keep their distance.

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