We don’t talk of love anymore Ursula

polar bear.jpg


The jet stream howled hot a wavy intemperate gale over the ice cap of the north

The white bears toey grip on small floes ridiculous, tenuous, a snapchap event

They plunge in swim, tire weighed down by sodden fur not buoyed up by skinny ribs

Some make it to a hard and sullen lip of land with a sigh

Some go down then roll diurnally, their eyes milky fixed to the North Star.


Some bears held up placards at the zoo, milled about in ponderous circles

Grunting and coughing in the noxious fumes of perfumed gazers

One sat back huffing, with a beer in his paw, gruffly asked a child for his hat

The days grew hotter and though they complained and asked for fans

The zookeepers looked to their own navels scratched and checked for fleas.


Bears in Alaska refused to fish, made hammocks out of hunter’s skins and scalps

Lay under chemtrailed mackerel bellied skies

Smoked dope drank hootch, mauled their wives and cubs then cried

One had a whiteout and vomited dog food under a dying pine

Then stole a pie from the kitchen of a woman with a shaking gun.


Sloth bears stopped to hum but sang loud ragas to their startled fluff eared mums

Teats unaccustomed to such Carnatic scales shriveled while cubs suckled fussed and crooned

Parents desperate, wrung paws grunting bass notes in empathetic harmony

While a wily fakir claimed it all a gift from Krishna for sitting forty years on his fingernails

Meditating on his winking clinking offering bowl.


St Remedius in his cave in Val di Non levitates and prays

Giving up the world to gain a kingdom of shifting particles and motes

His big companion goes through the saints clothes for food, finding fleas

Puts them in his own fur, an act of penitence for killing the saint’s horse

Before, in the usual bloody order of natural things.


Gogs tease bears away from hives with fat salmon caught in teeming streams

And retire to caves, stung and drunk on honey stolen from the bees

Fires keep the bears away at night, arrows by day

still these slavering roaring beasts sway and tower over men

who have yet to split the atom in a world where beast and hunter pray.


Catherine Forsayeth Nov 30 2016









    1. Hiya, thank you! Well I was thinking about how our love affair with the natural world was ever a tenuous thing. ‘Go forth and have dominion over all the world’ taken far too literally. The howling jet stream are howling wolves bears people winds…all connected in grief at what is happening. I feel it, and as I the poem reaches back in time to early man tricking the bears to steal the honey by giving him something which was plentiful and common then, now it is not. Farmed salmon full of poisons and honey is becoming an expensive rarity as more and more hives collapse. The hives being a metaphor of our destructive greedy society where the strongest one who gets to steal the honey still gets stung in one way or another.

      Liked by 1 person

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