Kenosis

Mid-January, & the bear
who hasn’t had
a meal in two
months, & won’t for
another three, half-
wakes to chew
sticks into soft
chips—bedding
for the cubs who
will soon be born
& squall
& nurse.
She may leave the den
to eat snow or merely
dream of it.
Her heart beats
eight times a minute.
But from the fastness
of her dark
unhungering body
milk will flow.


I’m indebted to a blog post from the North American Bear Center, “Lily Makes Bedding,” for the detail about chewing sticks — which sounds as if it was new discovery for the researchers. (The bear in the poem is on more of a Pennsylvania hibernating schedule, however.)

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

7 Comments


  1. I just love the flow and rhythm and tone of this, which are all so expressive (as well as the subject, of course).

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Jean. I’d kind of gotten away from enjambment for the last couple of years, but I think it works here, and I’m thinking of trying to integrate it into my poems more often from now on.

      Reply

  2. wonderful. both the creature and the words. thanks j

    Reply

  3. Every few months I come back to re-read Bear Medicine. Every time I’m moved. I long to have it in my hands, as a book. Even though it’s easier to find on-line than it would be on my overpopulated bookshelves! But perhaps you’ve moved on …

    Reply

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