Wild Conjecture (Short Poem for Jim Harrison) 

If I’m part-bear, it’s that part

left in the den after hibernation: 

the snore rather than 

the growl. The torpor, not the attack. 


Maybe I’m what bears dream.

Life as a salmon migrating upstream to spawn 

or as a twig of wild berries 


would be an improvement most days. At first, 

anyway. Mother Nature can be a bitch. 


But I’m still her bastard son.

Brian Beatty’s poems have appeared in print and online publications in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and the U.S., as well as in public art projects and on public radio. He’s the author of Coyotes I Couldn’t See (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016) and Brazil, Indiana (a folk poem) (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Publishing, 2016).