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Poetically Yours - Life changes

Bear Wolf performing at Poetically Yours live event at Common Grounds in Sycamore
Yvonne Boose
Bear Wolf performing at Poetically Yours live event at Common Grounds in Sycamore

Welcome to WNIJ's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems from northern Illinois poets. This week's poem is by Bear Wolf.

Wolf is a Shawnee Gypsy Jew social justice humanist who lost count of his tattoos somewhere around 20. This world makes no sense to him, so he makes music and poetry. Today he talks about the changes we go through in life with his poem “The Seasons of our Souls.”

Be like water

Go with the flow


You can’t punch puddles

But water can boil over

Singe the skin from within

Until life becomes


Water can freeze solid

To the point that it won’t

Be moved

Lest movement and motion

Become danger and destruction

The devastating wake

Of glaciers grown wild

Melting away millions of miles

Water may be able to weather the storm

But the weather that water creates

Can bring devastation

Erode away at creation

As the waves crash away at the shores

Until it becomes impossible to ignore

Be like water

Go with the flow


You can’t punch puddles

But they can most certainly punch you

So stand like trees

Feel the breeze in your hair

As it leaves a trail on the wind

Breathing from within

To bring voice to the choices that need

To be

Ancestors freely roam in your soul

To grow

Seek the sky by asking why

Feel the reasons we deny

Standing like the trees

But how can leaves breathe

When the very air deceives

Our needs

Our roots contract in a desperate act

Like a gut punch

Drains the will to perceive

Can we answer back

This branch attack

Or leave our lungs

To evolve into toxic cracks

That crater through

Our very attempts

To take a moment

And just breathe

No more waiting for the smoke to clear

It’s time to breathe fire

In arrears

Make up for so many lost years

These fears have taken up too much space

This scorched earth is no resting place

Phoenix fires still leave layers of ash

So where can we grow from here

Anger and passion may be in fashion

But lasting growth only comes from evolution

So the spirit must be willing to navigate real revolution

And true retribution

So be like water

Stand like trees

Breathe in deep

Blaze higher degrees

Encourage the spirits to fly out free

How else will we ever get to where we need to be

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.