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The Fall




The Lizard

The Lizard and the Polar Bear,

by Roger Fritz, 2-27-02

The lizard has been walking north all his life,
with the drumbeat of the earth echoing in his bones.
He walks north through the jungles,
where fruit hangs like fresh jewelry:
bright among the giant leaves.
He ties parrot feathers to his tail, and
paints blue stripes on his body, and
keeps on walking.
He walks north across the short-grass steppes
where prairie dogs describe his ancestry in
colorful language.
He collects porcupine quills and makes
a breastplate of stripes,
and keeps on walking.
He walks north across the desert where
heat shimmers like dancing women.
He dances with them on the tips of his toes,
to tiny music,
skittering like a drop of water.
With red and blue threads tied around his waist,
he's been collecting the glitter of stars with his eyes,
and walking farther north,
pressing north,
ever north.
On the horizon he sees forests dark as hope
and mountains the color of the songs fish sing,
and a golden hope stirs in his heart.

The polar bear has been walking south all her life,
with the drumbeat of the earth surging in her blood.
She walks across the ice fields, where

-Lizard & Polar Bear, page 2 the aurora borealis does the dance of seven veils,
and wisps of steam rise from her footprints.
She fashions earrings of the turquoise colored ice,
and keeps on walking.
She walks south across the tundra in the spring,
where tiny flowers scatter color across the land like
sparks from an exploding frozen fire,
and she colors the tip of her
every hair with silver.
She ties her ears with pink ribbons, and
keeps on walking.
She walks south across the tall-grass prairie,
where marmots the size of saber-toothed tigers
gambol across the rolling hills.
She's been howl songs of longing, and
walking farther south,
pressing south,
ever south.
On the horizon, she sees a forest the color of loneliness,
skirting mountains the color of snow-blind love,
and a tiny glow in her heart brings a
smile to her eyes.

They begin to lope toward each other, sensing
the light on the breeze, the smell in the sunshine
shafting slanting through the trees.
Beetles disturbed by their footfalls
fly through the shafts of light, sewing threads of light
through the day
like fireflies sewing threads of light
through the night.
They spiral in on each other, and
come together out opposite sides of a clearing,
into a leap, and a catch,
tumbling to the forest floor.

Before they go to bed in their lair,
she puts on her yellow jammies.
They go to sleep to the crash and clatter of falling stars,
-Lizard & Polar Bear, page 3 and the twittering from below of burrowing owls,
awakened by their love-making.
The hiss of the cosmos laps against their auras like
waves carressing a beach.
They drift out with the tide into the cerulean depths of
night and time and ageless love: deeper than
memory or fate or the lives of the gods,
older than time itself,
or than time's older sister.
These are the places where in dreams,
porpoises and humans meet and play,
dancing and diving in the light.

She wants to continue south,
and he wants to continue north,
so they compromise.
Every day she goes for a walk south,
and he goes for a walk north.
One day she picks lupines,
and he picks sunflowers.
Their table always has a bouquet.

Twenty years from now, we find them
living in a hobbit-house by the sea.
He counsels wild animals in their native tongues
on re-adjusting to the fall of civilization.
She weaves cloud sculptures that go on display
every evening during the sunset.
They both participate in amateur plays in town,
and he juggles for the barbershop quartet.
She does high wire for the local circus,
when they come to town every year,
and ends by diving into the net.
And they both spend their volunteer timing working
for the restoration of nature: the great
mother, the great
source, the ground we walk on.

Here's a version you can download:

Download The_Lizard___the_Polar_Bear.rtf