Bear Mind

Poem, 1.4.18

Let there be a poem now.
Let one appear in the center
of the room, in the air
above the desk, and hang
like a cloud, like a spirit
conjured out of absurdity
and desire. Like a pear
without a tree.
And I will bear
it down and slice and serve
it up, pretending
that it came from me.

As I was working that little poem out of my notebook, I noticed the single unintentional rhyme of pear and bear. I thought about Bear Mind. Not like bear this in mind. Bear Mind. I don’t know where it comes from, if I made it up or heard it somewhere in a poetry reading or a retreat, but it goes something like this:

Imagine you’re sitting in a chair and you have a slice of baloney in your hand. There’s a dog in front of you, watching, and you waive the baloney back and forth. The dog watches the baloney and when you throw it across the room, the dog runs after it. The dog will do this every time. No matter what else the dog might have to look at, listen to, or think about, it’s going after that baloney.

Now imagine it’s not a dog but a bear. You waive the baloney back and forth but the bear is not watching the lunch meat. The bear is watching you, a much larger piece of lunch meat. So when you throw the baloney across the room, the bear doesn’t even blink; he’s not distracted, not even a little. In fact, you may have tossed your last baloney in this world.

I want a mind like that bear. One that stays centered, focused, and doesn’t go chasing after every distracting slice of baloney that gets thrown past his nose. So my goal is to dial back on the inputs of storm and stress, drama and covfefe, that plague my daily existence, and focus on being more mindful, calm, and clear. Building the Bear Mind.

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Someone Small

Today we remember our beautiful Stella, who crossed over to The Rainbow Bridge on April 8, 2000. She was amazing.

Footprints

 

‘All I know is something
like a bird within her sang.’

 

I look for her in the morning,
the mockingbirds in her garden
still asleep.  She is not in the hall
or lying by the rockingchair,
watching daylight take
the fences and the orange trees.

 

Her leash is gone from the kitchen
and her toys, so I go out.
There’s sourgrass by the corner;
any dog would stop and sniff.

 

Not there, so I drift a moment
over the freeway, to the bluffs
where I used to watch her run.
Look,  footprints where the trail

 

turns to sand and the salt smell of the sea
comes up.  Someone small has
stopped here just to dance, and see
how the tracks stop. As if she danced
a little while, then flew off.

scan2007.0103.009a

Footprints, 2000 by Kyle Kimberlin

Creative Commons Licensed