"Morning in a Pine Forest" by Ivan Shishkin‘A Bear in My Living Room’ and Other Poetry by Michael Harmon The Society October 15, 2016 Beauty, Humor, Poetry, The Environment 2 Comments 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. Instinct Blue, green and purple sheen across a black and feathered back, blackbird you are absurd with a beaked nut and comic strut on land; you understand nothing at all terrestrial, 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. 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