by Don Colburn


Imagine a grizzly bear

with frogs in its ears and a raven

perched on its head. It helps

to have watched a great heron

at the ragged edge of the sea

before it flaps and somehow

lifts off. Or if, in the dark,

you can make out a yellow cedar

bending to the water – maybe.

Like the wind, the rain, the rings

in the treetrunk the great bear

was carved from, or a sound

you hear for the first time, so old

you know it tells more than one

story: Quawquawkeewogwah.

No use squinting at the scant

letters or sounding them out.

Listen to one who hears his name

without looking. Close your eyes.

Say what he knew by heart. 

-from As If Gravity Were a Theory (Cider Press Review)l