Two Poems by Nancy Takacs

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The Bear Feeder 

I knew I had to take it in at night,
but forgot, looking at the stars.
I heard it crush
under a bear’s foot
or at least I thought
this while I slept.
I woke early
and fed the cats
their cream and one
fish liver. The light
hadn’t come up yet
over the meadow of little
bluestem and wild
strawberry, some fading
lupine. I could see
the shoulder of an island,
and the soft gray
earth of Superior
though there was still a mist.
I sat outside near the fiery
geranium leaning away
inside the same pot
from the blue
lobelia that is tricky
to grow; it needs more cold
for its darkest blue.
There was a bear.
No, it was a hole
in the maples.
I was wishing
for a bear.
Then as the lake lit up,
and the birds began,
I saw the feeder 
on the ground, broken,
a splash of gold seed,
overnight most
of the great harvest
already eaten.

I looked for her prints
in the sand, under
the shepherd’s hook
where I hung the feeder,
and picked up the globe  
that was first cracked,
then bitten. I felt inside
the steps she took
from the hemlocks
across the native seed grass
we planted, just beginning
to break out of its clay.
The prints were much longer 
than my hand, not as deep 
as my heel. I could not
slip my fingertips inside
the fine claws. She had
crossed what will be a small
yard surrounded by raspberries,
ferns, and red lilies,  
then she went down the hill
where one day she can live 
in woods when they grow
big enough for bear.
She knew what she was
looking for, and it was
easy, to pick up the hive
of seeds and run a claw,
let them fall, tongue them 
in the sand, these seeds
she spread overnight
in a long curve, 
licked into wet clay
licked hard, planted now
in our soil.




It makes me think I’m not alone.

It makes me think I’m alive.

I can feel death,

know death.

It makes me hurt,

billowing over the universe.

It loves volcanoes,

tolerates hurricanes,

bores the eye’s shoulder,

a volcanic inching heart,

the universe’s sucking rhythm,

its own edge worn to a new edge

miles back. The frush

creeps and turns, senses the fall,

how one lights up,

how one goes home in the dark.




Nancy Takacs lives in Utah and Wisconsin with her husband and two dogs. Her latest book is Blue Patina, published in 2015 by Blue Begonia Press.

Photo of waterfall courtesy Pixabay. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.