A Bear in My Living Room

While playing some computer games
One day, I heard a noise out in
The living room. I frowned, but paused
And went to see. To my chagrin

A bear was squatting on the floor
And doing what he had to do.
And I was livid. “Who the hell,”
I roared, “gave any right to you

To do this in my living room!
You can’t just come in here and drop
A load! Go back out to the woods
Where you have always gone! Now stop!”

He chomped, exhaled and then said, “Yes,
The woods had always been my john.
Your toxins killed the trees and now
The woods I used to use are gone.”

I thought, but wasn’t buying it.
That’s when I grunted, “Why should I care?
You have no right to make a mess
In someone’s living room. How dare

You.  Get a mop and clean it up.
I’m going to resume my play.”
He cleaned it up. Who did he think
He was dealing with anyway?


The Hermit Crab

Where doubt and touch-and-go and kismet rules,
The hermit crab inhabits tidal pools.

Too tender for this world, inside and out,
It seeks a home—in which to go about—

Tough and mobile, in other words a credible
Domicile and one, last-not-least, inedible.

Abandoned shells of other creatures are
Its goal, like those of snails, or something similar

Or even large and rusty metal cans
(Although they don’t hold preference in its plans).

And when it finds a suitable home for use,
It is the happy once-again recluse.

Until it grows. Or things go grossly wrong
And has to move. Again. Which, all along,

It knows, sooner or later, will have to do.
Ah, this transient world, this fated stew.

But, continually annoyed by accommodation,
It has a single, dubious consolation:

It may not find the Certainty Hotel,
But always has a chance to find a shell.



Blue, green
and purple sheen
across a black
and feathered back,

you are absurd
with a beaked nut
and comic strut

on land;
you understand
nothing at all

or grace
of human pace.
With your distinct
aerial instinct,

you miss
knowledge of this,
and merely fly
in ecstasy


A Place to Stay

A desperate, impecunious time for me, as it went:
I had to find a single room to rent.

She opened wide the door that yielded house
To stranger’s view and, wearing a low-buttoned blouse,

She had the look of some promiscuous poem,
Announcing: “Dear poet, you’re halfway home.”

Come in, was offered my ears by the voice of a heart
Sure of its mastery in the realm of its valuable art.

And after touring the place, her, and the room,
I dreamed a lover’s long-sought happy doom.

The rent she asked for I could not afford,
But balanced by my never being bored.

And one more thing, she said beside the door
That led to where she parked her pricey car,

And then she swung the door and flipped the light
On where-the-first-thing-something-wasn’t-right.

The trophies of past predators were lurking there.
I noticed a lion, a fox, a wolf, and a bear;

Their faces grim, grimacing, dusty, dead.
I gazed at my possible landlord’s smiling head.

My husband and I are now separated, it sighed.
He left, but left these here. I must confide

There’s little storage space. And it was then—
Pondering these taxonomic lives and when

They found their final place to stay; in fear
Considering the gun that brought them here;

And tangled motives, goals and aims we chase—
I saw a future trophy had my face.


Michael Harmon holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from Long Island University and B.S. degree in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University. He is a retired computer programmer and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. His email address is: mjhzen21@yahoo.com.

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2 Responses

  1. sathyanarayana

    “Bear in the living room” strikes very hard at the need of the hour. Yes, deforestation is going to cost us heavy. A meaningful poem in perfect tetra meter.

  2. Elizabeth Boquet

    The last two gems in “A Place to Stay” — And tangled motives, goals and aims we chase— I saw a future trophy had my face. — pull the poem together in a surprising and delightful twist.


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