The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Charles Wyatt

Blind Bear

Now for a holiday rolling in dung,
and dust clouds up petals and insect parts.
Moff is drinking in the pond, mud
between his several toes.
A good shake brings out the thunder.

But Tommy’s on the road talking to stones,
iron in their guts this is our way they say,
glowing white, each one a dead man,
a dead child – their laughter rocks them
and they crack into a thousand pieces.

Not so white this, his eyes filmed,
weaving down the found road,
blind bear, a door without hinges –
Thomas must find the tumbled trees,
thicket bear roaring Moff’s thunder.

So many blind bears add up to one,
the stone shards blow like petals.
The broken stones laughing as they fall –
Thomas has found one glowing
and can see beneath something waiting,

huge white spider an orchestra
of palps and eyes beneath a coppery stone,
playing silence in every key.
What are you waiting for? asks Thomas.
Hush, says the rock, she’s hatching.

Go away, says the rock, and spider
settles her thousand eyes, her hairy
crouching – such a leap she’ll take.
Hurry on, Thomas. I’ll let him hear me.
One word from the wise and terrible.

Dead child, look across the way.
Do you smell the orange worms’ gardening?
Look at the maze, keen clouds over it.
See them rising up and worming.
This is where most songs come to an end.



"Blind Bear" is excerpted from a narrative sequence called The Adventures of Hellmoffring.  Hellmoffring is a spirit creature, part dog, part crow, who first appeared in my novella, Falling Stones, the Spirit Autobiography of S.M. Jones.




CHARLES WYATT is the author of two collections of short fiction, a novella, and a recent poetry collection, Goldberg-Variations, Carolina Wren Press 2015.  He lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he was principal flutist of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for 25 years.