A Poem or two…

The Three Bears

It wasn’t that they were unexpected,

I had been waiting a long time.

You see, I stood up, my jelly bag dripping red

into the bucket at my feet and there she was,

standing at the window, looking faintly surprised.

Her hair was rather rough, a little white showing now

and her curious eyes, red rimmed as I remembered them.

But not angry. No. Just questioning

my presence there at all.

“Well,” she snuffled, “if I’d known I’d not have come.

And certainly not brought those two numb-skulls

in the field.” And there they were, rolling along

looking for something to nip their fancy,

the sun licking gaily at their blueberry flanks,

their limbs loose and limber, hung with unused muscle.

“I understand,” I said and shivered at a shriek

from the creek, where my jubilant young

wallowed and dived in joyful possession.

“After all,” I sighed, “I know my bean patch here,

my rose garden, have no abiding value.

Beyond the field, the trees still march the hills.

Surely an army guarding your way, until you reach

a sanctuary?  A road? A path of pine

needles to the sun splashed

forest that, believe me, I regard as wholly


“Wholly? Holy?” Disbelief rippled over her shifting body

as she lifted her questing mask, and leant against the wall.

She lobbed me a contemptuous stare.

“Bears have to eat. No sacred places left for us.”

Turning too smoothly for a chained dancer,

slick as an oil spill, she called her half-cubs.

Away, up the hill, they rambled, were swallowed by

sunlight and shadow, into the dusk

to sniff at the litter of human intruders

in honey-less woods.

Fall Morning

Fogged morning,

thickening against a rock face,

flutters in mouths and hollows,

breathes corridors

over the still dark water,

touching me—cold at my feet.

Thudding through the mist, wings

clap slow as heart beats,

before a cry comes bounding

over the still dark water,

furrowed where

feet pierce its silky skin.

Wild clarion to chuckle, the cries

cut mist and water, remotely

they ride, in coils about the lake,

leaning on the still dark water.

their voices pull my dreams

through watery haunts.

Down in the cold streams like stones

they sink away; fish-like they swim,

their power undiminished

deep in the still dark water,

and rise again to meet

and shout in unity and joy.

There are loons on the lake.

(first published in Northumberland Today 2010)