Upon Hearing a Coyote After Eating Free of Metal Trap

these snares, tripped
remnants of lean forearm
tangled in the wet earth
the charm of coyote howl
a scream in a canyon

something is holy in their
financing war, the cement laden
world of bulldozing, constructing temples
and mosques to hydrocarbon
drills, sucking particles left
for moon rockets

there is a moment of reckoning
reading The Bear, how precise
the primitive nature of capture
is carried out with the flick of
knife, ingenious gut laceration
bone of wolf sprung frozen

a bear eating raw the blubber
pierced with bone of canine

I take a wolf’s rib and whittle
it sharp at both ends
and coil it up
and freeze it in blubber and place it out
on the fairway of the bears.
And when it has vanished
I move out on the bear tracks,
roaming in circles until I come to the first, tentative, dark
splash on the earth.
And I set out
running, following the splashes
of blood wandering over the world.
At the cut, gashed resting places
I stop and rest,
at the crawl-marks
where he lay out on his belly
to overpass some stretch of bauchy ice
I lie out
dragging myself forward with bear-knives in my fists.

he follows bruin, blood curdled in snow,
defecation soaked in red, the slow death
of bear like that of mankind, flicked by
tongue of bankers, the holy rollers
of thugs in palaces, guided by
missiles, and the heat of transmission
seeking life for a profit turned

Galway Kinnell as poet follows
seven days of bear regurgitation
stomach wound roiling inside
the bear’s body leaking inside
out, as he lumbers along
sort of transposed by death
alive still as he gathers
some ancient compass and keeps
moving toward his death

the poet climbs inside
the bear, or maybe it’s simple arithmetic
kill or be killed, be food or feast on food
it’s a story played out daily
street people on corners
faces matted, hair disheveled
eyes waiting for handout
some sign of a tribe or clan
as we only see ugliness
at 30 miles an hour
trapped in internal combustion

we all are the bear, most of us
the coiled weapon of madness
hidden inside, the financiers
the lords of yachts and information
those Silicon Valley and Kuwait
kings have set traps, waiting for
our eventual fall, collapse
a point hedged here, and a profit turned
there, we suffer long, much more
than a bear in a poem, each
fleeting moment we recall
déjà vu like, what it was to be
in tribe, equal, no rotting tongues
of Judeo-Christian-Islamic lords
purifying their heavens with
the gold of lives, toiling
as the wolf bone, figuratively
eats us from the inside out
bellies and hearts pierced ever so
slightly, like a spider’s prey
or the tarantula hawk, wasp
venom putting hairy monster
into suspended animation
so young can live and hatch
into orange-winged precision

it’s an old tale, the money changers
the armies of lords, the few thugs
dishing out death to a million
an old sad story, the bone stuck inside us all
uncoiling and flicking hard
perineum butchered
each painful day
money for their coffers

I awaken I think. Marshlights
reappear, geese
come trailing again up the flyway.
In her ravine under old snow the dam-bear
lies, licking
lumps of smeared fur
and drizzly eyes into shapes
with her tongue. And one
hairy-soled trudge stuck out before me,
the next groaned out,
the next,
the next,
the rest of my days I spend
wandering: wondering
what, anyway,
was that sticky infusion, that rank flavor of blood, that poetry, by which I lived? 

**Galway Kinnell’s The Bear **

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.