THE JUVENILE BEAR WITH GOLD EARRINGS
leave strips of trimmed fat
from our pork loins,
along with a discarded Yukon Gold,
laden with generous pats
of sweet cream, salted butter,
and bacon crumbles as we
flee the ashen rain at The Timbers.
The Juvenile Bear with a yellow tag in each ear
swipes the loaded potato
with the skillful agility of a major
Padded paws like mitts, no bone
china is broken.
Poor men scavenge
harvested dirt rows the week before,
gleaning what the Spudnik had not pulled.
Flour sacks heavy with worry and coup,
their tongues click on about the measure of their dogs,
their chickens and their children.
They lift furtive glances toward the red rim
of a distant forest fire that has driven
the bears down the mountain and wonder when
the ferocious raiders will return.
On the dawn of a different day,
a frenzy of hungry bears tore open the belly
of a lame cow. Now shotguns are always loaded,
close at hand, in dusty Ford pickup trucks.
Poor men know what to do with thieves.
The chief chef from Guadalajara at The Timbers
presses his palm against the blade’s back,
opens the tuber as fresh as manioc.
There’s a photo inside his
of his forever-little-girl
whom he hears is all grown up in Mexico.
There’s talk in the kitchen
of a twelve-year-old whose calf was split open
on the wooded trail just above the tree line
by a mother bear.
The child survived.
Gracias a Dios.
The protective bear.
This chef knows survival is the reason he cooks in America.
A blaze roars in the river stone fireplace
at The Timbers. Crystal water glasses shine
in this warmth. Four inches less snow
this season, hardly worth the price of air.
Seconds before, we were driven
in by the sudden occurrence
of frozen rain. It slashes at the blue
There’s a sinking into the pleasures
of the hearth, a return to comfort
and the deserved luxury
of buttering warm bread and tipping back wine.
A child’s gleeful alarm shatters this settling.
“Mommy, look. It’s a bear with gold earrings!”
We crowd the windowpane,
admire the brown beauty’s youthful.
agility, a circus performance, a major leaguer
complete with a yellow tag in each ear.
We snapchat smartphone photographs,
take video with the latest generation
of Cinematix apps, and post on our Facebook Live.
Dancing from plate to plate,
the bear devours what is left of our fled feast.
We recognize its utter devotion to pleasure
and its risk of being labeled “bad bear.”
“Without his mother
he no longer remembers
how to be wild,” says
the chef, who’s emerged from
his kitchen to check on the commotion.
“One more tag and he’ll be shot.”
Waitstaff in crisp white uniforms
clap and stomp the bear back
down wet, wooden stairs
where it’s taken residence under the deck.
The bear retreats, but is drawn by the smell
of French fries, burgers, and ketchup as sweet as honey.
Driven by hunger and insatiable desire,
it charges blindly up slippery stairs
where the memory of butter, pork, and potato
glisters brighter than gold and fire.
Pleased to announce that my poem, “Juvenile Bear with Gold Earrings,” has been accepted for publication in Doubly Mad Journal. Out this June, 2021.
We don’t normally respond so quickly to contributors, but we knew immediately that we wanted to include “The Juvenile Bear With Gold Earrings” in the upcoming issue of Doubly Mad, due out in June, 2021! Over the last few years, an amazing amount of poetry has come our way, and we often have a very hard time making our selections–but occasionally, it’s a no-contest.
Thank you again for sharing this work with us. We are very excited to learn about your poetry! (We took a glance at your website and read your piece on O’Keefe–it is excellent!)
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Doubly Mad is a biannual literary and visual arts journal published by The Other Side of Utica, Inc. with support through granting organizations and our readers. Our aim is to publish excellent poetry, fiction, essays and visual art, with an emphasis on people working and living in Central New York, though not to the exclusion of our neighbors throughout the U.S. and around the world
by Patricia L. Meek
Let the lazy take you where it wants because you never know.
-Shaman Jim |
Widen your eyes as if in dying,
as if in death.
like the newborn
seal surrenders its first
hours to the blinding
and arctic light.
READ THE REST OF THE POEM BY FOLLOWING THE LINK TO SLAG REVIEW CURRENT ISSUE 10.
Photo by Patricia L. Meek, 2018.
2018 Shortlists Congratulations to all the finalists! This is the list of the year – below are the films that will be screened at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2018.
Honored that my video poem, “Dialogue with Georgia O’ Keeffe I: Chimney Rock” will be screened at Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival. Thank You, Rabbit Heart!!
A new release of my poem “Ghost Ranch,” the second in a series of channeled poems of Georgia O’Keeffe. I dedicate this video poem to my mother, (and of course, Dad), who has given me unwavering support my entire life. I also dedicate this poem to the divine mother in all of us throughout time–whether in life or beyond. I did all the paintings in this video. It took me nearly a year to complete, and of course I worked with the amazing team of Jack Rabbit Hollow, please visit their web channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unxFZUoy-UY . Abe Rosenberg and Morgan Velasquez who is the voice in this production. If you enjoy it, please share and leave a comment on this page.