Animal poems - Grizzly Bear

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Grizzly Bear

     ... powerful, enduring, loving

One of the last untamed environments on Earth,
Untouched by man's influence, are perpetual mountain ranges blanketed in winter cold.
The very whisper of these lands instills a sense of wild solitude, beauty and inspired horizons,
And it is here, in the Canadian wilderness, you thrive.

For you, solitude is not a stranger. Solitude is a old friend who comes and goes for months or years at a time.
Solitude is the friend who challenges you, who greets you at a glazier sized gate of ice in tight bone-deep embrace.
You wander the landscapes alone, hunting for food. Despite your large statures you are but a fleck of dust trudging over expansive pale horizons.
For countless miles you wander, hoping for a rare piece of prey.

You browse the landscape as a professor looking for precious pieces of insight in a sea of white papers.
Reward comes rarely, but you persist. You are enduring, powerful and you embrace the challenge of this landscape.
Your large paws trudge into the deep white snow. The same paws that can strike down deer, are softly padded, and crunch softly into the snow with claws retracted.
Your tracks extend for miles behind you, and many frozen rivers lay ahead.

Pelting blizzards approach, testing your resolve, and erasing your footprints from sight,
But it matters not, for you only see ahead.
For your tracks are carrying the weight of new life.
The snow melts of spring will see new life leaving a den by your side.

Who would imagine the mighty grizzly bear - one of the most powerful and fearsome creatures on earth - could frolic for days in intimate romance with another.
For days, a male and female play together, roll together in flowery green meadows, gaze into each others eyes, and form a life-long bond.
They do not stop to remove their loving attention from each other for a second, let alone to find food.
It is not only the most beautiful, but among the longest foreplay for any animal - to see two grizzly bear play is to witness something of rare romantic purity and affection.

Finally, after days of innocent play, the male and female become as on in furry flesh.
In the scheme of the seasons, their brief but magical encounter ends in a beautiful but bittersweet parting of ways.
The female and male, who have barely eaten in days must now prepare for winter, and for solitude once more.
Only the precious memories of a week in the flowers to keep them warm.

Our precious female bear now has new life. She can sense it.
Soon she will birth and start to raise two beautiful little cubs. Bundles of fur and excitement entering into the world.
These thoughts now keep her warm. This powerful beast, will turn loving mother, and as the snows melt, the weight of a thousand blizzards will transform into the warmth of her body against her sleepy off-spring.
This is the reason the bear endures the harsh, and years of solitude - for the opportunity to love and bring something new into the world.

Even in the harshest blizzard, and cycles of love and loss this creature persists for the chance to ignite green pastures with passion and family.
The seasons come and go, but the cold is always there. Yet so is the prospect of love.

            -- by Andrew Noske

About this Poem...

Animal: Grizzly Bear
Description/motivation: In my head is a wonderful moment in Yellowstone national park where we say two Grizzly bears doing their incredible mating ritual - of rolling around in the grass like young, carefree teenage lovers. Grizzly bears in North America are apparently much smaller and less aggressive than Canadian Grizzly bears (those in Canada are much more likely to kill you), but I didn't focus on aggression - instead I imagined the cold and untamed nature of Canada. I assume the same mating rituals of Grizzly's in North America apply to Canada... and I should probably check the Wikipedia page on Grizzly bears to see if I got the seasons correct! Well... apparently all but the Canadian Grizzly hibernate, so I neglect that completely, but hey - the conditions in Canada are still cold, so I might leave my poem as is for now. :)

I'm sure I've seen television footage of Grizzly bears in the snow. Hopefully I didn't imagine that!

This is one in a serious of poems I've written about various animals. The motivation, is that I love the idea of spirit animals, and I decided, one day, to ask many of my friend what animal they think best represents their personality. In some cases the poems are written with the person in mind... and sometimes it's purely about the animal. Read more about my process here. If you love this poem or want another written please e-mail me at :-)
This is an original poem by me!