Saturday, August 4, 2012

the bear and salmon show

[For a glossary of the once-nonce, now-minted words used below, refer to their context usage in: "beer foam on terra firma."  Or, skip to the next decipherable word and ignore my nonsense altogether.]


It's been a while since our last communication.  I have been busy elsewhere from Elsewhere, namely over at Swallow, Socrates.  It's a long story but I'm sure, given your nature, your Eminent Diaphanousness, your broad-band acceleration through the whole web of Philosterous-Nonesucherol, you could scurry over there and scurry back before I know you're gone.

I'll assume you went.  I know, I know--sob story, isn't it.  But that's there, not here.

Here, Elsewhere, that is, I was updating my publications list on stage left (your right) and decided that I might as well toss some literature your way.  And, I am painfully aware, in the way of the chortlesome crows.  Let them laugh--I'm far less humiliated now by my smallish poetic efforts than when we began our correspondence back on April 12, 2010.  (We're getting old, Ether.)

Preface to the poem:  Now and then, great things surface on that predominantly insipid crust of media--Amorphilacious-Antaginons--which is to say in the parlance of Substantiopetrapopulus, Facebook.  Such a thing was gifted to me by my friend Mary Maxwell.  It was link to a site on which one can watch bears catch salmon in real time.  See for yourself @  

I'll assume you went.

At first, I unabashedly admit to watching this magnificent phenomenon, transfixed, for thirty minutes at a stretch 3 or 4 times a day.  Over the last two weeks, my time and frequency have diminished but I still check-in regularly.  It helps that I adore bears to the point of distraction but I can't imagine not wanting to behold such an ancient and vital display of wildness for at least a minute or two, adoration or not.

Meanwhile, other things have been going on in the world besides the bear and salmon show.  Noxious things.  A man is proven to have wreaked ruination on the lives of young children for the satiation of an aberrant urge while his compatriots abetted for the sake of convenience.  Another man meticulously plots and executes an ambush of terror on a theater full of harmless humans.

These monsters and the usual suspects, as well:  One candidate makes too much money, one candidate takes too much money.  One restauranteur disapproves of your convictions and capitalizes, one restauranteur approves of your convictions and capitalizes.  Oh, and Kristen stepped-out on Robert to hook-up with Rupert and now the whole thing's gone south--lachrymose teens and inappropriately concerned adult women are incredulous, distraught.

The handbasket is woven, the brimstone is molten, and all passengers are boarding at this time.

Out of these conditions and due to my obsession with bears, I wrote the following poem which, in reality, has very little to do with either.  Its about bears and salmon.  And a gull in cameo support.

In Lieu of Human Scandal: Live-Cam at Brooks Falls

Harvest season for the brown bear—
Pink salmon hurtling upstream.

One atop the falls, eyes locked
On the foam; a flying circus,

An urgency of fins, pelt the heron-
Patient beast—portrait of awkward

Majesty.  When now and then
Lucky maws clamp in purchase,

The bear shoulders into the plunge
To eat her catch on the banks,

Trailed by a covetous gull.

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