Posted tagged ‘bear poem’

Walk in the Woods

July 24, 2015


Walk in the Woods

I read this morning that walking in nature quiets
the frontal cortex, frees
something, but I walk so fearful of bears this evening
in this all too natural wood, my frontal cortex busy
with bewaring, that anxiety cantilevers a small cellblock about me,
a prison of projection my sneakered toes shuffle forward,
my knees bang into, and that I only break through
to start
at the flickering of moths in the fiddleheads,
the shifts of darkness
against dead trees,

until, bowed by own nervous system, I try simply
to keep my head down–what I don’t see
won’t hurt me–
(the fact is I am thrilled whenever I see a bear,
I keep telling myself)
and now my brain’s sovereign is
the brood
as I replay with blurred certainty the bared foolishness
in the mails I sent today,
every sop of misrendered advice,
sighting in the brain-garbled distance
sure evidence of cortex’s demise, underlined
by pre-demise inadequacy–

It all comes to the same thing, truly–
a fear of bear racing–(a chase I’ll surely lose even tumbling downhill
where they’re supposed to be at a disadvantage)–
and a fear
of the embarrassing–

Then, I remember–and now I’m trudging uphill (where I’ll be too slow
for any bear, so try not to physically look back)–
that a dear friend died
five years ago today.

She would have liked to live
to fear foolishness, even maybe
bears. Yes.

I can’t find anything
freeing there,
until I arrive, in the green stumble, at one of her favorite stories–
a time she greeted a doctor, after sitting in a hospital chair all night, next to a sick son,
with a long string of dental floss impossibly stuck
between her teeth–you know how early
they make their rounds–how neither she
nor the doctor mentioned
that long crooked dangle
as they both tried to seem supremely
competent, focused on charts
and probabilities, the boy’s
soft breathing.

And foolishness, bared, suddenly doesn’t seem
so bad; being a know-it-all not so appealing
in the context of
an afterlife, the knowing of
what’s next–

Almost home, I think of her round smile–her teeth were
quite big actually, her smile bigger,
a flash of incisor at each side–

Almost home–
and I think
of her
round smile.

Sorry sorry sorry for the length and the fact that it’s not really a poem, and that it’s so much like all of them lately, but here’s what I’ve done for Grapeling’s “Get Listed” challenge on Real Toads.  Ps==drawing mine, an old one–the bears are really not that big here!  



March 21, 2013



We were like two bears in the forest, destined
never to meet, only we did meet
and we weren’t furry or fat–
well, maybe a little love-handled,
except that we hadn’t been love-handled
so that when you touched me–you do have pale soft
hairs on the tops of your fingers–I shivered–
just like one of those bears stepping out
from under a waterfall or ducking down
to catch a fish, droplets arcing in finned
sparkle around my head–instead, we stood
in an abandoned hall, wooden closets
built into the walls, and only my nostrils moved, flaring a bit
with the dust; your hands as warm as a bear’s
certainly, only his would be pawed, and I
don’t know if bears put paws around each other
when they come out in early Spring, but when we met
in that wood hall, we barely paused in what was
warm, moist, musked, emergent
if you know what I mean–as if we’d each been stuck
in some dim den, as if we’d each
been hibernating, only we’d been awake
in our dens, lying so
unbearably alone and

Until, that is, we met,
like two bared, destined,
in a forest—wait, did I get
that right?



A blogging buddy cheered me up the other night by sending me a list of some very silly analogies written by High School students.  That thought let me to this poem which I am posting for the With Real Toads prompt by Susan re writing with an extended simile.  I am not sure that this qualifies but it was fun.