J. P. Dancing Bear is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently, Inner Cities of Gulls (2010, Salmon Poetry). His next two books will be Family of Marsupial Centaurs through Iris Press in 2011, and Fish Singing Foxes through SalmonPoetry in 2012. His poems have been published in Mississippi Review, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, Verse Daily and many other publications. He is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. Bear also hosts the weekly hour-long poetry show, Out of Our Minds, on public station, KKUP and available as podcasts.
Gacela of Ariel
What trickery compares, compares to
the false-bottom hope
you hold for yourself like a bundle
of roots. Twisting and knotting
in on themselves, Gordian. Gordian,
like a child’s anxiety.
Your arms reaching, reaching
into the air. Knotted fingers grasping
as if to snag a cloud.
As the wind peals away more dirt
from the eroding cliff you sit upon,
you sing to the sea, to the sea.
Mind caught in ringed thoughts,
against your grain, your grain, moving
again and again in holy servitude.
Feel your feet root into the soil,
into the cracks, should you stay too long,
too long trunked in one position.
You work at healing the gouges
and excavations of ants that make
your roots itch, itch with their swarming
belief, that all of this landscape
is a buffet, a buffet left by a creator
for them to feast.