I knew a man of careful life who longed to explore uncharted lands,
But family ties and circumstance for him held different plans.
Sometimes he would take a walk and find himself on the edge,
Of a great dark woods he’d never enter; to his wife he gave a pledge.
“There’s nothing there for you to see believe me I’ve been there,
So promise me you’ll never stray to where you should not dare.”
He would dutifully turn and walk away back to his loving wife,
But then one day while on his walk he took with him a knife.
His life had been lived as an observer always doing what he should
Now with a quickened pulse in his poet’s heart he traipsed into the wood.
The dappled sunlight played on him as he walked along a trail,
And in his mind he was a knight searching for the Holy Grail.
But the deeper he went the darker it grew until all light was gone,
In the dark he began to pray to once more see the dawn.
Just when he was about to give up hope he saw a fire burning,
And through the brush he heard sound of its maker now returning.
He knelt beside a tall oak tree as he looked into the glade,
And there the sight that came to him made him grab his blade.
For all around the blazing fire there danced a hundred bears,
And into the frenzy appeared his wife as if she’d had no cares.
And one of the bears caught her up and tossed her to the next,
The more the bears danced with her the more he was perplexed.
And then she stopped and stripped herself until her flesh was bare,
He watched it all as his lovely wife sprouted a coat of hair.
As she danced her snout grew long and claws grew from her paws,
Whatever she was he knew that she had broken nature’s laws.
When the revelry was over she’d changed back to what she used to be,
She found her gown had been run through and was now fastened to a tree.
She recognized the blade that held it tight as belonging to her love,
And the sound of her tears filled the woods like a mournful cooing dove.
For she could never return to him, now that he had discovered the truth,
How could he ever accept her again without the beauty of claw and tooth?
We have a print hanging in one room of our house called "The Bear Dance." The last line exemplifies my belief that mankind has worked very hard to separate itself from nature. We have removed ourselves and set ourselves above it. This has lead to many problems. We needto place ourselves iinto nature rather than over it.