The Bear and the Dove

Bear Marc-Olivier Jodoin and Dove Nowshad Arefin – Source: Unsplash

The trees will stand together.
The forest will endure.
There will be peace tomorrow 
and the bear will be no more.

The forest once stretched
from the sea to the sky,
and the bear was its keeper.
A watchman, whose eye

would never be swayed
from his greed and his gain.
He dreamed that the forest
could be once again

the mightiest kingdom,
both brutal and cruel,
with the bear as it’s master,
forever to rule.

By the sickle sharp claw,
through the fear of blood.
By the strike of the hammer
that sets loose the flood.

Far away to the South
tall trees stood strong.
The whispering wind
setting leaves into song.

And they sang of their country,
their home and their love.
A rhythm of wingbeats
to welcome the dove

who glided to rest,
like a seed in the breeze
to nest in the tallest of trees.

And the bear reached out
to his animal scouts
and they found what he wanted.
They saw without doubt

that if he were to conquer
those southernmost trees
it would open the door.
It would hand him the keys

to the kingdom of bears.
To his power, complete,
without reason or mercy
or chance of defeat.

He seethed in his cave
and plotted his war,
while the trees to the south
stood solid and sure

and the dove sat at peace
on the eggs in her nest.
No fear touched her mind
as she looked to the west.

Then out of the north
came a shrill whistle howl.
A gale through the treetops.
A thunderous growl.

As the bear in full fury
set light to the world.
As he tore at its flesh,
all his hatred he hurled

at those enduring trees
so tall and so strong,
standing up to a bear
in the place they belong.

As their seeds scattered wide 
On the wind to the west
And the slow turning leaves
Left their branches to rest

The trees would not bend
to the will of the bear,
but his malice and cruelty
hung thick in the air.

“I cannot be beaten”,
he roared to the sky,
and the wind heard his voice
and it picked up his cry.

“We will not be beaten”
it screamed as it grew.
As it ripped through the branches
The hurricane blew,

and it’s hammer struck first
at the tallest of trees,
roots ripped from the floor
as it fell to its knees,

as it crashed to the ground,
eggs shatter to tears,
and the dove flies no more,
and all hope turns to fear,

as tree after tree, 
is torn up from the dirt 
in an unending storm.
All is pain, all is hurt.

And the roar of the bear
is unceasing until
all the earth is stripped bare.
All is silent and still,

and the bear sits alone
and the forest is gone.
There was nothing to gain
from the war he has won.

He will gloat till he dies
in his own lifeless hell,
alone without love, 
where the bravest trees fell.

In years yet to greet us
the scars of war will fade.
We’ll remember all we lost, 
all those brave souls who stayed.

And resting on baked yellow earth,
beneath tear stained blue sky,
a new seed will take root.
A new dove will surely fly.

The trees will stand together.
The forest will endure.
There will be peace tomorrow 
and the bear will be no more

There will be peace tomorrow 
after tears fall like rain,
and we all will stand together
with the people of Ukraine.

Ed: Listen to Richard read his poem here:

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