Tag Archives: bear

Beauty’s Human Scent

by Thomas Davis

As cold as morning mist upon a hill
Above the lake that danced light from the sun,
The woman stood and felt a warning chill
That screamed at her and made her want to run,
But, frozen, scared, she turned toward the wood
And shadows where a massive white wolf stood.

She did not move. The wolf’s wild, pale green eyes
Stared balefully at her, its body tense
With energies she somehow felt, the skies
Above them darkening with clouds so dense
A twilight lengthened shadows, made her feel
A rush of fear she thought she should conceal.

Eyes fixed on her, the wolf stepped from the trees
So slowly that she barely saw him move.
She could not make her rigid legs unfreeze,
But stared back at the wolf as if to prove
The fear she felt was courage free of fear
Though pale green eyes, half closed, made death seem near.

The wolf crouched down as if to spring at her,
But then its head jerked north toward a stand
Of young white pine, eyes concentrated, fur
Around its neck alive. The woman’s hand
Moved, broke paralysis. A great gray bear
Rose up inside the pines, the wolf’s cold glare.

The bear glanced at the woman as she backed
Away from wolf and bear, then, anthracite
Inside its eyes, glared at the wolf, strength stacked
Against a spirit brimming with a light
That darkened morning skies and choked the day
With time suspended as it stalked its prey.

The great bear roared. The white wolf bared its teeth
And growled, its spirit kicking up a breeze
That blew into the bear’s black eyes beneath
A dead still canopy, the forest’s trees
Now covered with a brooding, bristling night
Contrasting with the wolf’s bright, shining white—

And then the wolf was gone, the bear alone.
It stared at where the wolf had stood and felt
The emptiness beneath the trees, the drone
Of singing wind as rain began to pelt
The ground and run in muddy rivulets
That clouded in the bear’s stirring spirit.

At last the bear fell down and stuck his claws
In earth, the human woman haunting him:
The fear inside her eyes, the wolf’s white paws
Prepared to spring into the stunning hymn
Of beauty circling her, the way she held her head
As wolf’s eyes counted her as prey soon dead.

The bear sniffed stormy air and found the path
She’d used to flee the wolf and him and stalked
Toward impossibility, an aftermath
That could not be, that mocked him as he walked
In air perfumed with beauty’s human scent,
A woman’s song of being, heaven sent.

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Makwa Fits You Good

by Thomas Davis

To Trevor Moeke

Makwa fits you good:

He wanders around the grounds,
Rolling like a meadow rolls,
Growling here and there
With the song of who he is
And greeting morning and evening skies
With the power of his presence.

His earth spirit
Speaks languages
Gathered from earth, wind, water, sky.

Walking in sunshine
Between startling whiteness
Of tepees that point poles
Toward a startling blue sky,
He smiles with white teeth
And laughs with a deepness
That shakes aspen leaves
And sets them to dancing
Even though there is no wind.

Note: Trevor Moeke is a Maori leader who is the current Co-Chair of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (www.win-hec.org). Makwa, in Anishinabe, means bear. This poem was written on the Shoney Reserve in Canada immediately after the meeting that formed WINHEC.

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The Last One

a pastel drawing by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The Last One

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Filed under Art, Ethel Mortenson Davis