John Beargrease

Ben Weaver shared this poem via his email newsletter and it struck me such that I wanted to share it. I couldn’t find it anywhere online to link to, so I’m sharing it here. Do visit his website and see what he’s about, and perhaps join his email newsletter as well to have magic like this show up unannounced in your inbox.

John Beargrease – Written for Beargrease 2019

Even in the most remote nights
constellations are inherently
stories of relationships,
connected leaps of
failed domestication
hooking ground into sky.
Some of my ancestors were leaves,
flames, tamarack, and waxwings,
I feel their pull and hear their singing
through a fabric of organized chaos,
placed near the end of the rapids
sending a chorus of birch seed
and agate out on the tail
of each snow mote.
Don’t get thrown off the scent
mistaking simpler times
for lack of sophistication,
complex systems of mutual
dependency and survival
have always been woven
into the chains that bind life to earth.
The poverty of the current time is that
the miraculous leaps
between these links have come to be
considered burdens,
with curiosity and generosity held hostage
by a cultural entitlement to comfort.
When I hear the songs of my lupine
and snowshoe hare ancestors
I am pulled into the thick and pregnant
fog of the land, where I am told stories
that remember,
when news from the outside
world came down the trail
behind a human on a sled
pulled by four dogs moving
at the pace of the land,
it was not a liability
to have an open heart,
it was an act of wildness.