A graduation day photo.

Norfolk Home Learning

        From small beginnings to great success

One Flesh, One Fur

Boy oh Bear, how we hugged and tumbled!

Such romp and tumult under the covers!

Such escapades in inner space!

Our cosmic cousins leapt alive at our call:

we had big Mr Bear and the sky-striding Hunter

rampaging - the scariness thrilled us to bits!

And there, in the clench of our fierce embrace,

was the pounding, pounding of a best friend’s blood

and the passion of a sewn-up sigh.

So I screamed for us both when I found your wound,

that precious blood flaring between my fingers

and all things ablaze with its fountain and fire.

(It hung so profuse in the holly grove

that every shock of the axe hurled

a crimson cataract at earth’s dry bone.)

So where are you now?

What became of love of a battered teddy bear,

whose holes and patches, straw and sawdust –

stardust – moved a childish heart?

Yes, what made bear-love loneliness?

What wrenched you from me, crowned with tears,

and flung you dreadful dark-years?

I dream of you, see you with streaming hair;

but my plundered hands are an empty womb,

an empty tomb, a disconsolate prayer:

Dear Lord of the Feast, my cup runs dry;

I thirst, I thirst for the crush of our bear-hug,

your G force distilled in young love’s chalice, over-

flowing with stars. In these wilderness years

I am parched to the bone: my Lord, I crave

your giddy sweat, your love divine.


Click here to read about the 52 years' evolution of this poem.