Bear – A Poem

Bear

One

I feel you move through darkness –

a painful shadow.

The darkness of a forest – bare trees, moonless,

twigs snapping. I know you are there. Groaning,

alone in your heavy, tired body. Hunger

keeps you awake.

 

On my knees,

my finger traces your track, sticky in mud. I know-

where you have been.

 

I long to bury my face in your musky scent, know

the rhythm of your wild heart,

feed your hunger.

 

A twig snaps. Leaves rustle.

I feel you move through the darkness.

 

Two

The question is the gift. The hardpart of the journey is asking the REAL question. The question that leads to the deepest, most intolerable pain of your being. The question that is like a finger wiggling in a wound. Poke, poke, poke.

Someone once told me it this question that brings us to another birth. She said that the spiritual quest is the burning dark question.  It is seeking the question that tears, rips, shatters, explodes. Then mends with the unknown – the unknowable. The gift is the most terrible question you have ever dared asked in the light of day.

 

Three

You dig. Feeding on bitter roots

– the awful taste of medicine.

Dirt covers your tongue. You rip apart

rotting logs. Lapping up stinging ants,

grubs, beetles. All things known

for living on the dead.

Four

It is said that when you dream of corpses and graveyards, (dreams that you leave behind in the dark and prefer not tell or write in your journal) the spiritual light within your soul will soon grow brighter. The more disgusting the corpse, putrid with decomposition, the greater the realization will be.

Five

Perhaps –

it is not me tracking you?

Maybe –

you are waiting. Waiting

for the moment when

I let go. Accept

my fate, lay down

in the cold damp leaves and

let you

find me.

 

Perhaps –

I am pretending.

The longing a dramatic play.

A distraction.

The knowing concealed

by a sleight of hand.

Six

She waited a long time –

to be found. No one came.

She dried up and

blew away like a leaf.

 

It took his keen sense of smell

to know her

as he dug up roots.

First, he uncovered her finger,

then her hand, breast, face.

 

He understood, how the light

blurred her vision. (Her eyes still

tender with darkness.) Because

he had slept long and dreamt deep

through cold winter after cold winter.

He knew only hunger

could wake her.

 

His heat, his hunger quickened her heart,

turning her blue flesh pink again.

Seven

He told me, “To awaken means to eat when you are hungry?”

“Is it ever satisfied?” I asked.

 

He knows her.