When the Bear Comes to My Garden

When the Bear Comes to My Garden
Martha Courtot

When the bear comes to my garden
       I will be ready
       I will soak my body in olive oil and honey
       I will wear nothing but sunflowers in my hair
       I will sit surrounded by talking stones
       I will let them speak for me
       when the bear comes to my garden

When the bear comes
       he will have a strong appetite
       he will show white teeth sharpened on my history
       he will make large footprints across the cucumber plants
       he will trample down the well-turned earth
       he will wash his strong bear scent over the whole garden
       he will scare the birds away

When the bear comes to my garden
       I will put down my poems
       I will plant the trowel of my work deep
       I will wait for his furred embrace
       I will cry no more

When the bear comes to my garden
       we will dance then
       our voices rising like leaves borne aloft
       our bodies swaying under an invisible net
       he will press himself against me
       he will be my last passion

we will fall earthward
       down into the deep cave
       forsaking metaphor finally
       we will look at each other for the first time
       home, he will whisper home, I will answer
       we will hum like bees at summer’s height
       in the morning when you find us wrapped around each other
       we will already have disappeared into the stars

Martha Courtot © 1995

3 thoughts on “When the Bear Comes to My Garden

  1. Love this poem! And I am just remembering that a bear has come to my garden (10 years ago) on my 50th birthday. What a blessing.

  2. Oh dear Elliot, Thank you for hosting this site that include the work of our beloved Martha Courtot. Martha was my favorite poet. Because she was (also) my friend, because I knew her flesh and bone, heart and soul, her mystic catholicism, ferocious politics, her sexy full lips and sauntering walk. Because she was a loyal Leo and, once you made the cut, you were hers forever. Martha. Loved. Women. Martha LOVED Women. And she loved her children, her partners, her friends, spirit, literature, nature and the women in our community. I went looking for one of her poems tonight. I know I have a copy somewhere but can’t find it so thought I’d do a search. It has to do with “And the angel said “choose”. and nothing was ever the same”. And it had a phrase about “lit up from within like a house full of lovers” or something like that. If you have it at your tender fingertips and want to offer it up (before Friday night), I’d be much obliged. Thank you again for hosting this site and offering Martha to me yet again… With love, Hrieth

  3. Hrieth – I am, slowly, working on a short bio of Martha to add to reprints of her work. I have permission from her daughter to gather letters and other items. Might you be interested in a phone interview?

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