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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Janet Lynn Davis
Grimes County, Texas, USA

Does He or Doesn't He?

idyllic scenes
fill souvenir postcards—
the temptation
to trust this sunny side
of reality

We've been out taking a stroll. The sky's a brilliant cerulean and the grass an intense green, as if I'm looking through polarized lenses. Upon reaching our home, we're greeted by lively chatter: crows gathered en masse on the ground. And beside them, a black-and-white bear. After almost bumping right into it, I freeze in place, like a timid woodland creature who has met the gaze of a human. Suddenly, with my husband staring on from the edge of the road, the bear, now upright, reaches for me and ever so slowly lifts me up. I hardly feel a thing—no curled, skin-piercing claws, just a whisper of softest fur against my arms. My husband continues to stand there, still no more than an observer, while the impressive animal proceeds to place my head inside its wide-open mouth.

It's then, of course, when I open my eyes to the new day. Questions remain.

nothing's clear-cut
in this waking world . . .
but what I see
are leaves to be raked
and grass grown ragged

Author's Notes:

A great deal of symbolism is associated with bears (also with crows). Bears can represent fortitude, authority, wisdom, healing, rebirth, balance in life, etc. In some cultures, the bear is associated with shamanism. It's been said that bears can take on human form and that humans can become imbued with a bear's spirit or aspects of it. According to certain Intuit legends, for example, allowing oneself to be devoured by a polar bear, or a polar bear god, may result in spiritual transformation or reincarnation.

A few days after experiencing the dream described here, I had a second, though much briefer, dream about a bear: a cub rolling around on its back, beckoning me to childlike play.



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