It happened two years ago this month in August, 2016, though I can't really tell you the exact day. It was closer to the end of the month.
Having moved there, to Laurel Park, NC, in an earlier August, that of the year 2004, we absolutely loved living in the mountains of western North Carolina. And why not? Joan and I both attended Hendersonville High School in the late 1960's where she was native born and where we started dating shortly after her graduation. Most of you are familiar with my writing but probably don't realize that at least half of my poems were written as a direct result of the intense inspiration found there in the the natural mountainous setting and fostered by my walks.
On this particular late afternoon, I was returning home from my usual two mile track and in this case, literally down "a long and winding road," (Beatles not withstanding). As I walked along I noticed movement just ahead, off to the right of the road. It was a large, jet-black dog, head down, vigorously digging at the base of a fallen log, or so I believed. Taken by the surprise, I stepped to the center line of the road where curiosity and I could get a better look, when all of the sudden the dog raised up on his two back legs.
There standing just a few feet from me was a four-foot black bear sizing me up. And there I stood frozen for what seemed to be a very long ten to twelve second, all alone, curiosity having run off into the woods with out me, in a stare-down with an appearent hungry, young bear. Just when I was about to bid him a hasty "afternoon" and run, he dropped down on all four and began to furiously dig once more. It was then that I realized he obviously preferred the taste of ants and grubs to that of a seasoned poet.
That said, I plan to look back over past days and years of poems written in the month of August and publish some of the stories that led to their writing. I hope you will follow me in this journey.
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