|Brown she-bear from Alaska in Pictures.
Recently, black bears have been sighted near where I live in central Maryland.
But my bear is friendly. Like a hiking companion who joins me on long, outdoor walks. I'm not sure why she's visiting my thoughts, but I'm not complaining.
I've used animals as a poetry prompt before, to help elementary schoolers write about their emotions in a way that feels safe. You can read the lesson here (sorry for the wonky formatting).
Today, I'm loving this bear-poem from Gary Snyder.
this poem is for bear
by Gary Snyder
"As for me I am a child of the god of the mountains."
A bear down under the cliff.
She is eating huckleberries.
They are ripe now
Soon it will snow, and she
Or maybe he, will crawl into a hole
And sleep. You can see
Huckleberries in bearshit if you
Look, this time of year
If I sneak up on the bear
It will grunt and run
The others had all gone down
From the blackberry brambles, but one girl
Spilled her basket, and was picking up her
Berries in the dark.
A tall man stood in the shadow, took her arm,
Led her to his home. He was a bear.
In a house under the mountain
She gave birth to slick dark children
With sharp teeth, and lived in the hollow
Mountain many years.
snare a bear: call him out:
Old man in the fur coat, Bear! come out!
Die of your own choice!
this girl married a bear
Who rules in the mountains, Bear!
Read the rest of the poem here.
I love the way that animals -- in our dreams, in mythology and storytelling -- are keepers of the animal-nature in human beings.
I hope the only bears you see on Poetry Friday are in your dreams. For more poetry posts, visit this week's host, Jone at Check It Out.