The Passing of the Bear
By Paul Watson
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

The Passing of the Bear
By Paul Watson

Like a ghostly wraith he drifted through the heavy snow and sleet,
Powerful muscles rippling, eyes taking in every dropping snowflake
Upon the ice he trod quietly on massive padded giant feet,
He lowered his head to lick the ice, his mighty thirst to slake.

Monarch of a whitish kingdom, unblemished and remote
Whiter than the Arctic snow at forty-eight below,
There is no garment on this Earth as warm as his white coat
With razor sharp ebony claws manicured into every toe.

He is living, walking, gleaming, iron, smiling, stoic and enduring,
There is no danger that he dreads, his dire anger strikes deadly fear,
He hides within the powdered snow, unwary seals hes luring.
And men who try to track him often turn to find him to their rear.

He is Nanook, Lord of the frozen North.
His strength doth spread across the top of the entire world,
And all life trembles to see his silhouette as he strides boldly forth
Stalking through flickering darkness with the Northern Lights unfurled.

Those lights that define both polar space and time,
Lights dancing with greenish hues and silvered all ablaze
The Aurora and the bears movements both with nature rhyme.
As the one moves through the shadow of the other in a blinding haze.

And so it has been for thousands of years but not for a hundred more,
For now the ice melts underfoot and the wary seals grow rare,
The ice no longer extends from rocky shore to rocky shore,
And no longer can Nanook stride forth barely without a care.

His days are numbered as the ice retreats and the seals move far away,
Once he moved without fear, a life both noble and free,
But now his fate lies on the scales and there is nothing he can do or say,
For in a hundred years, no more will he walk upon the frozen sea.

There are few animals with such majestic flowing grace,
There are few whose babies are so deceptively cute,
A savage merciless temper masked by an innocent face,
Victim of pathetic men with little dicks that shoot.

In a fair fight, he would win, yes he would win for sure every time,
But little in this time and space is fair for plant or beast,
As mighty rivers grow sick and die and turn to putrid slime,
As species after species fade with the never-ending feast.

I watched him walk and his trail broke through the crusted snow,
His footfalls grew heavy as he searched for ice holes now long gone,
His body was growing lean and still the seals did not show,
In his mind he knew not why, but he knew something was very wrong.

I followed his tracks over the chalky waste, seeing sadness in every step
He was clinging to life as best he could in that vast white domain,
And at nightfall up to his silent unmoving form I cautiously crept,
And saw at once that his breath had ceased and so also had his pain.

I placed my hand upon his broad savage brow and felt that it was still warm,
I saw his eye, blue, and deep open wide in a vacant stare,
And in that eye I saw reflected the face of death upon my human form,
For life goes on each day down south and the fate of bears stirs not a care.

The wind blows harsh and silently across the frozen splendour of the North,
The Northern Lights still blaze in a spectacular symphony so rare,
But Nanook no longer prowls the ice or across the tundra sallies forth,
The Northern winds will mourn forever the passing of the bear.

Polar Bear


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