06 April 2009

National Poetry Month

Today’s poem is by Michael deBeyer. These days, Michael lives in Fredericton, NB, but he recently completed a two-year stint working at the Gaspereau Press as a press operator. (If you’re reading this, Michael, remember the mantra: If you’ve problems with the ink, check the water ...). Michael is one of the only writers to appear in both the Shift & Switch and The New Canon poetry anthologies published a few years ago, demonstrating the extent to which his writing supersedes easy reduction to membership in any one aesthetic camp. Gaspereau Press has published two books by Michael, Rural Night Catalogue (2002) and Change in a Razor-backed Season (2005), from which this poem is taken. It is also reprinted in the poetry anthology Gaspereau Gloriatur: Volume 1. — AS

Imagining the Black Bear into the Parking Lot
Michael deBeyer

I don’t know that it would be fair to think of it,
to pool the black bear this way, to pull it out,
the way it may have circled, steam culled from the body
into the morning air, its gentlest behaviour.
Matted hair above the ruff, a reddish winter coat
going to seed; hair cut against the forest’s
bluntest tools; tooth in nail, berry-seeded jelly.
Each limb needle-pointed with dew, bearing inspection.
Belly up for the sun to filter out the night damp.
Stomach taut. The embedded, richly earthy musk.
That it left last autumn’s colour with a temporary
impression: a paw print deep enough to put a fist in.

Copyright © Michael deBeyer, 2005.

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