Chased by bears across marshmallow bluffs

Verbal Vol. 1 spoken word anthology

by Michael Smilovitch

“Write something coherent and down to earth”
I told myself, but noticed several bears
Bearing down rather incoherently
So I performed a quick double-take and
Clambered across marshmallow rockfaces

Chunks of the sweet obstacle came away
Nestling beneath my desperate fingernails
As the beasts grew near with spittle and claw
My furthest back arm was casually mauled:
Scarlet splatter upon porcelain treat

I treated the wound without breaking stride
A handful of marshmallow, applied hard
On the gash and I ran steadfast up
To the edge of this particular cliff so
Soft and white, save for the blood, I jumped

And realized the rock was soft so then rolled
Down the marshmallow bluffs, still bleeding but
Safe, for now, since bears are stupid and scared
And don’t really understand the concept
Of cliffs made out of marshmallows

I trudged on, upon the jagged expanse
Of gelatin that stretched beneath regal
Violet horizons. The sun struck my back
And beads of sweat whispered as they slid down
To the tensile surface of my journey

The sun was at its crux now, the pulsating orb
Of energy burrowing its radiations under my skin and
Into my ears. I heard something sizzle and noticed
The marshmallow surface upon which I plodded
Was darkening to a delicious looking golden-brown

While normally I’d rejoice at an evenly browned
Marshmallow, my arm’s deep wound was throbbing
And my hastening strides began to cause cracks in the
Crisp surface, my boots sticking to the ground at each
Step and needing to be laboriously peeled away

I stumbled on, upon the jagged expanse
Of gelatin that stretched beneath regal
Violet horizons. The sun struck my back
And beads of sweat whispered as they slid down
To the flexible surface of my journey

I appeared to be in the clear, which proved
To be a problem as a hollow screech
From up above left me frozen in my
Confection-laden footwear, my pasty
Boots from which I wrenched my feet in swift fear

Regaining my wits, and throwing myself
Forwards, arms outstretched flailing, pushing off
The ground as this bird of prey swooped downwards
And my now-bare foot collided head-on
With a chocolate chunk of sorts, not a chip

It chipped my talus, a bone in the foot
Stopping me in my tracks, and tracking
More blood, now from my swollen and bare feet
Mingling with the gore from my still-mauled arm
And talons once again bore down from above

A spray of feather pierced my sightline as
The bears made short work of that flying beast
Having tracked my scent, they careened at me
With feral intensity I stopped and
Bit my into my lip until it bled then

Turned around, stumbling, favoring my
Functional foot, my arm no longer stinging
Unable to feel a thing, facing death
I knew it couldn’t end like this, not in
A field of marshmallow, fatally mauled by
These two fools of nature, this sheer brawn

I’d try to shout but choked on my shortness
Of breath and let out a wide, hollow,
Harrowing cough, better described as a
Bark, a bellow – the bears stopped in their tracks

Having been frightened by the booming sound
And I tore at the ground in a rage,
An adrenaline-fueled frenzy of pure
Confusion I shook and wept, my body
Trembling, volatile upon the soft surface


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Verbal Vol.1 is a Blasted Tree anthology of spoken word poetry.

Cover Image by Kyle Flemmer