Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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The Bear

by Jean Jones
For Scott Urban

"A bear killed two militants after discovering them in its den in Indian-administered Kashmir, police say. Two other militants escaped, one of them badly wounded, after the attack in Kulgam district, south of Srinagar. The militants had assault rifles but were taken by surprise - police found the remains of pudding they had made to eat when the bear attacked."

This reads like one of your poems, Scott--
our AK-47-carrying friends making some pudding,
putting their guns down
and look out!
A bear attacked them,
killing two of them,
leaving a third badly wounded.
Remember how you laughed at The Happening
and I took it as gospel?
Perhaps the planet itself is rising up to kill us,
tiring of our stupid attempts to eliminate one another,
all in the name of peace.
Now the bears are coming out of their caves to kill us
and with good reason now too.
We bring nothing but death;
do we not deserve it?
In time, the planet itself will rise up against us,
perhaps that is what the Mayans were looking forward to in 2012.
The aliens will not come back
but this planet, this earth,
will wake up,
and like a dog
coming out of a bath,
will shake its fur clean
eliminating all of us fleas on this planet.
The consciousness of one will overshadow the consciousness of us all
and like a boy waking from a dream,
the earth will change direction and all hell will break loose.

© 2010 Jean Jones

Originally from Bandung, Indonesia, Jean Jones received a BA in English in 1986 from UNC-Wilmington, and an MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry in 1988 from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Jean currently teaches Basic Skills at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has had two books of poetry published by St. Andrews Press from St Andrews College, North Carolina; the most recent, "Birds of Djakarta", was released in 2008. Together with his friend and fellow poet Scott Urban, Jean Jones has had a brand new book of poems published by a brand new Wilmington, North Carolina publisher called Shaking Outta My Heart Press. Jean's book from that publisher is titled "Tornado." Jean is also co-editor of the online poetry magazine Word Salad which can be found at: www.wsmagazine.net/zine/

Find more by Jean Jones in the Author Index.

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