Little Bear

Doug Barrett

Little Bear lives that side of the mountain.
This side is mine.  Lucky us.  We've each found a landscape
to match our mind:

A placid and enlightened land
beside the bay.  A rugged and unholy land
where demons play.

In our youth I roamed his side of the mountain,
he roamed mine.  Little Bear now sits in my old haunts
and that's just fine.

Little Bear dug his side of the mountain
and found some gold.  How I'd like to learn Little Bear's tricks,
but I'm too old.

Little Bear once came over the mountain
to Chambers Lane.  When he saw me coming he took off running
just like a train.

Squeezed down the pedal and pulled up behind him,
right on his ass.  Never knew in all my life a little bear
could run so fast.

He finally ducked down a culvert cutting,
and got away.  Never have seen hide nor hair of him
to this day.

Looking out from Freel Peak's summit
east and west, I sit for hours wondering
which way is best.

One way there's valley, oak hills, ocean
to Japan.  The other, sagebrush and salt seas:
the holy land.

A ragged and a holy land
to match my mind.  How in the world could Little Bear
be so unkind?