John Bubar

Fisherman’s Promenade

A half-tipped tree,
Victim to an early snow and northeast gale,
Roots sprung from the unfrozen soil,
Branches settled against her neighbors,
Worrying them in the wind.
Stand in the snow.
Listen to the complaining chorus of
The still-standing
As they take her weight.
Stare at the new fold in the earth
Beneath the upturned trunk.
Laugh at the idea of looking
Up her dress.
Hell, it’s just a tree.
Hell, it’s just a rock
Looking out to sea
Waiting for the day’s second inundation.
Each assaulting tide takes what?
An atom, a molecule, a grain?
Some measure of the rock disappears
In the twice daily baptism.
Scuffed that rock with my boot,
A moment’s inattention.
That lazy knee
Added a dozen months of tidal wear,
Or perhaps a hundred years.
I’ll never know.
Seven decades in the wind and on the water
Blown around and tossed about,
Feeling the scuff of their
Respective boots.
Hands and face never soft enough to linger on,
A crooked shoulder, a metal knee.
Relentless beings,
Wind and water.
Beavering away,
Thinning out the ice beneath me

Invitation To The Dance

Above the Arctic Circle
An ancient Inuit,
Face carved from stone,
Carved from stone
A bear.
Balanced on one leg
Forearms raised, head twisting,
Hearing sounds
Only it could hear.
A dancing bear his artist’s agent said.
There must be more.
The stone-carved face crinkled in agreement,
Pocketed his silver,
And reached for the chisel
That would invite another bear
To dance in Montreal.
Sheathed in stone,
All tucked away in pleasant hibernation,
The chisel’s tuk tuk tuk
Will wake them.
Who will be next,
Taken while escaping?
One leg frozen in the air,
Arms raised beseeching,
Head twisted to the last tuk heard
Come to make him dance
Twelve hundred miles from home.

Upland Grouse

Grey, black, and brown exploding
In an autumn forest
Twisting out of sight,
But not startled,
For you are a noisy walker
Come too close,
And they remind you
Primary colors mix to black.


Last updated: January 31, 2020

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