Note to Readers of Previous Versions:
There are so many new vignettes scattered throughout the poem that I hope you will reread the whole thing! There are new tales, improvements to previous verses, and improved footnotes as well! Trust me!
1. Bear Johnston
“Bear Johnston,” a stuffed bear, IS Boy’s friend for life,
Bear shows some signs of wear but Boy’s tonsil’S gone too,
And their bond IS like steel, can’t be touched by a knife,
Unexpected, “Bear’S” there, post a trip to the zoo. (1)
There're IS's he IS, and some IS's he ain't,
Though his name’S quite apparent when (my mother asks),
And no mystery he IS to me, almost saint,
He’S an angel that'S with me through all of my tasks!
2. Search for Rainbow’s Gold
Bear Johnston, in truth, IS the best of my friends,
And adventure IS always the path that we choose,
So one day there'S a search for where rainbow descends,
Say a pot of gold’S found how on earth could we lose!
Sure! Leprechaun waits (he’S reward) 'round trail’s bend,
Camouflaged by green meadow, but here’S the best part!
There’S just smile on his face as we meet our new friend,
And shares, “Real gold of rainbow IS always God’s heart.”
3. Butterfly Dreams
Bear'S poetry's muse with his quite ‘Beary’ views,
Nature always IS good entertainment to Bear,
Dancing bee (2-1) IS a “hoot,” gives his mates honey news
Of more blossoms to share, "They IS just over there!"
A butterfly flying, IS riding airwave,
IS like leaf that in 'free fall' has own batteries,
Pirouettes, dances dance, but IS soon in his grave,
He’S great meal for a bird (more of life's mysteries.)
4. Tonsils, I Hardly Knew You
It turns out the world ISn't safe for most kids,
IS my tonsils’ removal a medical scam:
A bad doctor’s deceit whose career’S on the skids?
Some adults still are children, and BIG’S not I AM! (3)
LIfe'S missing a manual called "Buyer Beware!"
And (post surgery) ice cream’S a treat I'd forgo,
Strange! In hospital's world, BEAR'S not recognized care,
But it’S clear to a child "we must reap what we sew!”
5. Tippy's Blues
My first dog, IS Tippy, though cousins' dog first,
A "found" pup, she IS nervous, all motives impugn,
A car ride makes her crazed, IS she fearing the worst?
'Tragic flaw' IS her urge to chase cars to the moon.
Our heart'S in right place, so we take her along,
Tippy leashed (and Bear carried) IS our kind of walk,
Mostly locked in backyard (she'S aggressive and strong),
New things seem to upset her; to her life’S a shock!
6. Fishing With the 'NEIGHBORS' Menfolk (4)
To fish with Mom's menfolk for ‘Bear Twins’ IS blast,
Theirs IS LOVE for the outdoors, and wildlife galore!
There'S ‘MY’ pole with fixed line, bobber, hook, (I can’t cast),
To ‘break bread’ with these men, IS a quite rare encore.
Bear plays with the bait until hook IS worm’s match,
He'S ‘in stitches’ as bluegills make bobber go wild,
There’S one fish that steals bait (that boy older might catch),
But boy's string (5) cleaned for supper IS never reviled.
Bear Johnston still exists today, and though his eyes were replaced by buttons years ago, he is really in pretty good shape. I am so lucky that my mom saved him for me. Another star for you Mom!
Note that EVERY line of the poem uses the word “IS,” though some forms of IS are less obvious. The result is that the whole poem is present tense. Staying in the present tense gives my story a younger voice I think!
(1) Some Poetic license here. I actually can’t remember how Bear came into my life, but this explanation is at least plausible.
(2) Science stuff - Forgive me for injecting a little science now and then. I love Science and I just can’t resist at times. Though Bear might not be expected to know such things, he surprised me quite often with how smart he was! I’m certain, in any case, that this knowledge would have delighted him.
(2-1) Dancing Bees - It’s true! When a worker bee finds fresh flowers that have nectar and pollen the bees need to make honey, he comes back to his home hive and does a little dance to tell other workers where to go to find the flowers. It makes me wonder what else bees can say to each other when they dance? Does it make you wonder too?
(2-2) Star Dust – This is my favorite science fact. It is now known all solid elements, and all gases except hydrogen are created when a very ancient star lives, dies, and explodes. So it follows then that everything we see, dirt, mountains, trees, and flowers, other animals like us, even water, and the air we breathe is the gift of a dying star. We are truly all wonderfully made - from stardust! Is it just coincidence that the Bible says God made man from clay (a kind of dirt, i.e., stardust)? What do you think?
(3) “I AM” – This is the very mysterious and wonderful way that GOD describes himself in the Bible. It suggests to me that all of creation too is GOD.
(4) My mother’s maiden name was “Neighbors.” So in this poem, I am talking about going fishing with Mom’s father and brothers (her menfolk), not the people next door and “Neighbors Gas” is the name of Grandfather Neighbors’ gasoline station.
(5) A “string” as referenced here is a long nylon cord or chain with a stake on one end and a metal ring on the other end. People who fish put the fish they've caught on a string or chain so that the fish can be put back in the water and stay fresh longer. The fish can breathe in the water and stay cool as well. The stake is driven into the ground to keep them from swimming away!
Continued in "Beary Tales" Episodes 7-15
Copyright © Brian Johnston | Year Posted 2017