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Poem of the Day

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Posted at 15th Apr 2017 - 11:55AM   Posted by Fairy Nuff   Poem of the Day Comments: 7

Fairy Nuff's Avatar Urs Caledonia

The last bear in Scotland,
It is said,
Was shuffling leaf-falls
Padding soft clawed
As recently as
Only yesterday on the long arc of millennia
Seeking and braving the bounty
Of bee-buzzing
Time-toppled trunks
Resigned to re-entering
The material flux in
The far flung and reaching
Forest of Caledonia
(A memory now, living on only
In the cross hatched legends
Of historical cartography)
As recently as
Only yesterday as
Ten centuries after the Roman polity
A Palestinian carpenter’s son
From a blind tree
As a sign
To remind Galilee
By his rattling breath
That Rome was as
Absolute as death.

Urs Caledonia was also taken
Time and again by Rome.
Much prized for its fighting spirit
Commanding a premium price
Hunted and gathered and shipped in its prime
To the foetid animal holds of ferocity
Waiting its turn to blink at the sun
Bewildered, baffled, buffeted
In the baleful dust and crowd- howling slaughter
At the focal point of
The architecture of bread and circuses.

For Rome, then, Urs Caledonia
Reminder of the Empire’s raptor sway,
Power and dominion
Played out in a graceless, deadly, way.

In other times, cultures, nations
It is
The power of the bear
That rings clear
In myths of creation,
Castes and kings:
To Celts artos (echoed in Arthur’s name)
And in Gaul Artios (a goddess)
Representing the warrior caste.
To others, the mother of mothers
The endurance of femininity
Or the heavy breath and swollen smell
Of creation itself,
Or the embodiment of perceived polarities -
Gentleness and ferocious strength.

See the brown bear forage
Through a ribboning town
That litters its accustomed paths
Rooting amongst the back alley
Decay and detritus of the Diners
Of overfed America:
Has she been transformed again
Into some litmus test of how
Thoroughly we
Are reptilizing
Upon the earth?

© John Mackie 2007

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 15th Apr 2017 at 11:59AM

Fennie's Avatar Are bears as intelligent as we like to think them to be?
I have yet to see them trained
Yet they would make good hunters, guards, fetchers and carriers
Except in the winter
When they slept
And we didn't
Though we shouldn't need to feed them them
And the animals would be inside so we wouldn't need guards.

Posted by: Fennie on 15th Apr 2017 at 12:21PM

Lampworkbeader's Avatar Thank you for posting this FN, it's a very thought provoking poem.

Posted by: Lampworkbeader on 15th Apr 2017 at 10:02PM

Salle de Bain's Avatar Yes it's sad to see our animals forced to scavenge out of their environments. It's caused by man, yet man will kill them for it. All so worrying. Great poem - It has got me thinking Smile

Posted by: Salle de Bain on 16th Apr 2017 at 12:23AM

Camilla's Avatar This is such a great poem FN, thanks for sharing , I echo too what Salle has said.

Posted by: Camilla on 16th Apr 2017 at 01:10AM

Faith's Avatar What a poem! Thanks FN.

Posted by: Faith on 16th Apr 2017 at 07:42AM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar I'm honoured that he wrote it for me, he wrote and worked with so many interesting people especially in the 60s and 70s, a fascinating man much missed.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 16th Apr 2017 at 12:19PM

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