Round haunches, vestigial tail
grizzly when disturbed,
you meander, content and calm
on Denali’s hallowed ground.

Forager by nature
low bush cranberries and blue ones too
two thousand garnered every day
sustenance for a long winter’s sleep.

From sight to paw to mouth,
our approach ignored
until windows fling open
and camera eyes gawk.

Suddenly, like Ursa Major
on guard from on high
you look at us
wee squatters on protected land.

And in that moment,
the lesson is realized.
You are the superior being
of this great mother called earth.

Amazing and magnificent creatures seen in Denali National Park.

11 thoughts on “Ursa

  1. oneta hayes August 28, 2015 / 4:41 am

    Lillian,as always I love this poem. I do have one question however. Did you maybe mean “in” rather than “of” on your last line. I’m not sure I understand
    The superior being of the earth. I really like wee shatters on protected land. Picturesque, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 28, 2015 / 5:05 pm

      Hi Oneta!
      We are at the Vancouver airport awaiting our flight home. What an amazing journey through Alask we’ve had! I’m certain there will be more poems from other photos and thoughts too, tucked away in my travel journal. 🙂
      I did mean to say “of” in the last line. For example, I could say that you are the child of your mother. So – if we consider in the grander sense, that we are all children of mother earth….animals, humans…..then, after seeing this magnificent grizzly, I realized that unlike the stereotype that places humans as the superior beings to animals, this awe inspiring animal is superior to me, the human. Does that make sense? The bear is superior to me in how he roams the earth, uses its natural resources only as needed, and does not affect the environment negatively.
      Yes — I had the simple word “we” and then thought about how we are so small in comparison to the grizzly, to the mountains, to Deanli….that I changed it to “wee” and used the double meaning of “we” and small! 🙂 So glad you caught that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack August 28, 2015 / 10:40 am

    Lillian, you found the perfect words to share the power of raw nature–flora and fauna alike. The grizzly bear is an awesome spectacle to behold and pristine land could have no better guardian.
    Did you ever watch the documentary, Grizzly Man? It’s a very difficult watch as it’s based on a true story. It doesn’t end well for the gentleman involved, but there are many lessons from several perspectives on how nature should be respected.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian August 28, 2015 / 5:08 pm

      So glad you liked this one.
      We are sitting in the Vancouver airport — will arrive back in Boston about midnight. Tomorrow — laundry day — how mundane in comparison to hiking to the foot of a glacier! It was indeed, a fabulous, awe inspiring trip!
      Have not seen the documentary you mention here….will put it on my list but, given the ending you are describing, will insure I watch it in the day time and with George!

      Do look forward to making my own cup of morning elixir at home 🙂

      Till another day, my friend. 🙂


      • AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack August 28, 2015 / 6:49 pm

        Lillian, safe travels back. It’s been inspiring to imagine Alaska in words. Thank you. I imagine more may be on the way 🙂 And based on your images, I must absolutely get there one day.


    • lillian August 28, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Many thanks, Paul! On our way home now….will reach Boston about midnight tonight. Perhaps we should take the stairs to our 7th floor condo in our high rise to imagine climbing to the glacier again! 🙂 It was an incredible trip…..Alaska…..what an amazing purchase made by the US!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Killing Jar Studio August 28, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Beautiful photo and wonderful words to match!
    Loved living out your adventures vicariously. Have a great flight home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb August 29, 2015 / 6:00 pm

    So eloquently describing one of the most majestic creatures on earth. BTW, while he wasn’t a grizzly bear, we did have a bear visit our front yard earlier this week. Unfortunately, I was at Costco and didn’t personally see it this time. I’m looking forward to reading all about your Alaska trip. Beautiful poetry here indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 29, 2015 / 6:12 pm

      …..I am not too certain I would want to see a bear in my front yard……but you’re absolutely right. They are majestic!

      Liked by 1 person

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