Poems by Robert Bumstead

Go to an open field on a windless day from April to October take a propane tank crack the valve a little and wait. The turkey vultures will network in their search for rotting flesh one by one with unsteady flight to circle the hint of putrescence captured millions of years ago

In British Columbia it has been a hot dry summer. Few berries have ripened and the bears trying to fatten enough to make it to spring sleeping in their dens, and not be forced to come out and forage, thin, hopeless in the snow, have been eating nutrition-scarce rose hips. You see it in their scat and in their gaunt features, like the bold one in camp. And in Merritt one walked into a grocery store sat on his haunches in the candy aisle and stuffed sweets into his wrapper strewn mouth until the Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman shot him dead and dragged him out to his permanent den in the hot dry earth

First score an ulu tree scrape off the sap that oozes from the wound with a stick be careful not to touch it with your hand or you will have a hard time getting it off. Then climb an 'ohi'a tree and find  branches just a perch-length away from the red flowers. Rub them, the branches, with ulu sap and go away. Upon return, you may find an a'I'iwi fastened to the branch. If you live in modern times you might keep it in a cage. In ancient times, you could kill it pluck the feathers and give it to an ali'i to make a feather cape headdress or lei. It could be worth your while

I had a dream last night that I was writing poems on my body with an eyebrow pencil. Of course, with all the hair and sweat, no one could read the poems. Maybe an inner voice is telling me that poetry is sissy stuff, not manly at all and to cut it out. Or maybe it wants me shave off all my body hair and get a better pen

About This Story

  • Author: Robert Bumstead
  • Published Online: Jan 13, 2012