When Bears Attack

A few years ago I was in Colorado with the African Children’s Choir. We were at a camp just north of Colorado Springs for a few days of rest, but when we first arrived we were warned that there were bears in the area so we had to be cautious, make sure we never left food lying around outside, and were told not to be outside at night.

Our second evening there, we had a talent show competition down in the main assembly area of the camp. It was a big pavilion that was open on one end and had a stage and fire pit inside. We had a nice fire, roasted hot dogs and the kids sang, dance and acted. We laughed and we cried and had a wonderful time, but eventually it was time to go back to our cabins to call it a night, it was starting to get dark.

I had decided to give the kids a scare, so I ran out of the pavilion ahead of the kids and went up the path and hid behind a big bush. As the kids came up the path I growled, then jumped out and shouted, “I’M A BEAR!!!!” They all screamed and started running up the path toward the cabin and then laughed when they realized it was me. I stood there watching them all walk up the path when one of the other adults said, “Adam, don’t move. There’s a bear behind you.” Of course, having just scared the kids I didn’t buy it, I wasn’t going to fall for this, so I turned around and there 20 feet away from me, was a bear.

I didn’t move, I just stood there and looked at it and it looked back at me. It lifted its snout and sniffed the air, checking out my scent. I guess it didn’t smell a threat because after a few seconds it turned and sauntered off into the darkness and a few minutes later we heard it knock over a trash can in the pavilion where we had our talent show.

Myself and the other adults high-tailed it back up the path to our cabin where we locked ourselves inside and were able to laugh about the experience. We didn’t see any more bears throughout that week, but that was the last time I pretended to be one.


2 Poems

I thought I would get back into the Friday routine of posting some of my writings, so for your reading pleasure today you get 2 poems. The first one is kind of dark while the second is more light-hearted.

I wrote the first poem in February 2009. Saddam Hussein’s execution had recently reappeared in the news and it got me thinking about his thoughts. When he was in complete control and had all authority in Iraq, did he ever think about how his life would end? Those thoughts spawned this poem, which I wrote when I arrived at work.

Saddam (written 2/11/09 in Simi Valley, CA)

Did you think it would end this way?

With a black bag pulled over your head. Did you think it would end this way?

With a noose tied around your neck.

When you sat on your golden throne in your palace between the great rivers

When your picture adorned every street corner and business wall

When the statues were erected and the songs of praise were sung

Did you think it would end this way?

Did you think it would end this way?

In a dark, dank cellar.

Did you think it would end this way? Hiding in a hole in the ground.

When you gassed the innocent and massacred the poor

When you threw people in cells for no reason other than your hurt pride

When the torturers whips snapped and pain was inflicted on your command

Did you think it would end this way?

Statues fell, crumbled

Pictures removed, shredded

The soles of the people were on your head

Your demise was rejoiced

Your capture was celebrated

Your death was relief

Did you think it would end this way?


The second poem was written way back in 2002 while I working with the African Children’s Choir. We had a concert in Berkeley, CA and I had a few hours to explore. I walked up and down different streets and saw people who were living life in a wide variety of ways and all of them were accepted. That led to this poem.

In These Streets (written in Berkeley, CA 10-6-02)

Out in the street

Underneath the October sun

With sounds of sirens in our ears

Intrigued by what we see

Long hair     tattered clothes

Dancing in the streets trying to make a living

But not doing a good job

There is life in these streets

Unlike the majority of this land

Beads, strings, books, and clothes

Stop the war!

Free the oppressed!

Vote for peace!

 Even if you don’t agree with them

You smile at them

Because of their enthusiasm and


For what they believe

Yes, there is life

And heart

In these streets