The poem’s back-story is fascinating. Let me quote from the first couple of paragraphs from Alastair’s description on Vimeo:
[P]rior to London, Robert lived in a small town full of artists in the foothills of the Santa Barbara mountains called Ojai (a Chumash Indian name meaning either “moon” or “nest”). He lived next to the directors of the local theatre company on one side, and a metal sculptor called Mark Benkert and his wife Marcia on the other. One morning just before dawn, a 400-pound black bear wandered through the theatre directors’ yard and out onto Robert’s street. He then climbed into a tree and became stuck.
Robert takes up the story: “he drew us all out, awed us with his presence, and brought us together as neighbours. Sadly, because it was also the first day of bear hunting season, he was shot out of the tree that night and killed by the wildlife “authorities.” Benkert swung into action, welding and cutting all night to produce a half-ton metal outline of a bear in rusted iron sheeting. Early the next morning, a capable rock climber, he hauled himself and the statue up the tree and placed it there–his bulletproof metal bear defying all. As far as I know, it is still in the tree. Mark and I became closer, and finally discovered that we held in common losing a son: my James in infancy, his Jonah gone at thirty-two from drugs and mental illness leading to suicide. The town commissioned Mark to create a bigger second statue to be displayed prominently.”