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Volume 13 • Number 2 • Fall-Winter 2021-2022

Deborah Keenan

Crazy Powerful Bear

or ten.  yes, behind every beautiful tree that we are kindly requested to stop loving quite so much as the world is on fire  and nothing we feel about beauty  matters unless we have the power of one bear or ten bears to change ourselves and the world.  ASAP. anyway.   one crazy powerful bear, or ten.  behind trees.   there you are,  trying to ignore their beauty, and the bear.  or bears. they are not sure they want to go after you, but they keep doing it anyway. one bear, or ten.  You know now there are ten, behind each tree:  bold, frightened, desperate, hungry, calm, sure,  heavy, intuitive, amoral, natural. they are the past: hovering, hidden, then visible.  I already told you: they are not sure they want to go after you, but all you see is how  they choose when to step from behind their trees into the light of your day.


Winter Blues

The concern: how unseemly and ridiculous despair makes one appear.
The one being the lyric I, of course, the sliver of difference
between poet and narrator we all bow down to.

In winter, in the fear of winter approaching, coming so soon
when autumn is all that matters, the shock of colors solace
every day, then winter, in its white, its gray its blue and blues.

winter: the lyric I has nothing new to say about her winter blues.

The lyric i is far from lyrical...more like a broken queen
who rules no land, though she walks the landscape every day
in awe of its beauty...her love of the beautiful has protected
her from many things in her life, but this time, not so much.

The ones who dismiss and diminish her also love her,
which, of course, makes this all so much worse, so much
more pathetic. They are ready for winter, metaphors
for blue surround them like the softest blue cardigans that keep them warm.

Unseemly, ridiculous. That is true. The narrator, the poet,
the lyric I is not lying. She awards herself one point
for being a non-liar. Winter is beautiful, in its cold,
indifferent way. She is now busy constructing new ways
to love what is beautiful, which will get her to spring.

Also true, she must forgive those who love her, must
forgive herself for allowing herself to feel both loved
and dismissed. This will take a season or two.

Deborah Keenan has ten collections of poetry, a book of writing ideas, a manuscript that waits for some brilliant editor to say yes, a new grandson, Emmanuel, and continues to live in beautiful, mysterious St. Paul close by the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.