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January 05, 2006

Bear Awareness (or, Bearanoia)

August 16, 1997

"The explanation of the Algonquin incidents may be
that the particular extremely unusual bears were
deliberately preying on humans. This idea is a chilling one and deeply affects us all. . . Although your chance of meeting a
predaceous bear is next to zero . . .”1

Dark dark hulking in the
Shadows just beyond the
feeble candlelit safety of my tent.
Moving forward quietly jaws dripping eyes clearly focused
—(“deliberately preying on humans”!)—
And maybe just maybe already having caught my scent.

Unexplained and wholly unexplainable,
You may not be there
in the everlasting darkness
just beyond my circle of light —
But you are there
in the depths of me:
Every *crackling* twig
is a sure portent of your coming,
Every nighttime sound
heralds your nearness. . .
ev ry beat of my heart
when I cannot sleep
the terror
of you.

(written some time after dark)

1. Algonquin Canoe Routes,
Friends of Algonquin Park


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