From Where I’m Sitting, I Fill Up the Sky

Berg in Immediate Surroundings – by Maria L. Berg 2021

The NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem about the meaning of your first or last name.

The April PAD prompt is to write a poem inspired by your immediate surroundings.

My Janus word for the A to Z Challenge is left.
As a past tense verb, it means “to have gone”; as an adjective, it means “remaining.”

Because I’ve often written about the mountain (Berg in Swedish means mountain), I thought adding a structure or form would help inspire something unique, so I took a look at the Poetics prompt from yesterday over at the dVerse Poets Pub.

I’m glad I did, because it got me thinking about all the fun adventures I’ve had on the mountain and the animals I’ve met there. Kim’s prompt was inspired by the poem The Print the Whales Make by Marjorie Saiser as was my poem.

close-up photograph of Mt. Rainier
Berg – by Maria L. Berg 2021

Black Bear’s Branch

I freeze. You haven’t seen it yet
the thick, dark fur tucked among the fir trunks
We are too close, my heart jackhammers
with fear and fascination
Is that how we are:
a dangerous shape
a few steps off the path?
Too late. Can’t go back.
But looking up at those sky-filling slopes
with awe, I remember
the deer and the fox prancing
also encountered there
and the way the bear licked
at the grass, not bothered
by the branch still attached
to his bum, so peacefully grazing
I didn’t notice him
until I had left him behind
on the return path
he wasn’t interested in me
and my fear of black bears
in dark forests of fascination
on the sky-filling slopes
slanted sunlight on snow
glinting promise
of new bear sightings
another day

7 thoughts on “From Where I’m Sitting, I Fill Up the Sky

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on the use of Janus words in my April poems | Experience Writing

  2. A clever blending of several prompts, Maria, I like the shape and form of your poem and the ambiguous title – it could be mountain or bear filling up the sky – a bit like your Janus word! I love the tension created by starting with a (non-)action, the thought that the reader hasn’t seen it yet is provocative, the ‘thick, dark fur tucked among the fir trunks’ and the jack-hammering heart. You had me among the trees on the mountain, and then took me off on a delightful wander through them. I couldn’t stop smiling at these lines:
    ‘…the way the bear licked
    at the grass, not bothered
    by the branch still attached
    to his bum’
    which you immediately counteracted with:.
    ‘…fear of black bears
    in dark forests of fascination’.
    I was enthralled!

    Liked by 1 person

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