Sorry, no photos for this one but it would have been nice. I've had encounters with bears before, but last Sunday's sighting was the closest. Quite surprisingly, this encounter with a bear didn't occur in an isolated path in the woods but in the parking lot of an antiques mall in Andover, New Jersey. Well, yeah, that part of the state is bear country and the local campgrounds warn people to secure their trash. Trash is almost always the only reason why a bear will venture out of the woods. Anyway, I was walking my dog along the perimeter of the parking lot when I looked to my right and saw the black bear walking towards us. In spite of its huge size, it didn't make any sounds and I could have walked right into the bear if I didn't look around. I reckon it didn't find much in the trash bin, and it was on its way to the next one. This bear's back, when on all fours, measured just about the top of a car's window. Well, as soon as I saw him ( I will presume he was a male ), we locked eyes and I started to back up with my dog in tow. Approximately seventy-five feet separated us. My " moonwalk " startled him, and he jumped into the bushes and ran into the woods. For his size, he was very quick. My dog never sensed his presence. That's my bear story.
Thumbing through some Robert Frost poems, I was led to this one by Maya Angelou . I don't know if Frost ever had an influence on Angelou, but certainly any American poet living today would be familiar with Frost's work. Frost and Whitman are my favorite poets, and the romantic poets ( Keats, Byron, and Shelley ) I can't bear. I find their work dense, abstruse and impenetrable. It's just a matter of taste and connectivity. I am no expert on verse, but I will accept the opinion of those who are. They warn us that Frost's poetry is deceivingly simple. If we were to try our hand at it, to put complicated emotions into simple verse, we would be tied up in knots. Anyway, Angelou's poem below, Caged Bird, touches on the plaintive cries, the longing for better things, that captive individuals must go through. You can apply the core meaning or sentiment of this poem to any situation involving imprisonment or captivity, human or animal. Think of the dog in a dank, dark