The hunter

From under the dry-mud crunch of a hunter’s boot
white frost juts;
he names a quarry, starts a pheasant in a flush
winging it most nimble
to brushy fencerow in a crop field,
stalks a spaniel, shrewd courser.

Shoulder-humps a wife, he says, drudged
up from a past eaten dust
and dried plates of food with old hair
dead in sunlight, moleskin has;
hefting a pan cast-iron hulled black
on a gas stove, she scours for a match.

For his feast look, a scant acre hunt yields:
each frozen finger burrowed cold
in a sock-glove, winter nubbed white;
grain alcohol sprung commonly,
hauled to a whiskered mouth,
opening like a dangerous wound.

Winter roosts well within the wood,
crow songs to suit a depressed mood
he saunters in; how glad though
could his adam’s woman be
when all his words do summon
leaps into the good book and a prayer.

They thought death was worth it,
the throats of their lives swallowed
lilies, poor and bare in lifeless bodies;
buried beneath the grasstops,
storms pouring by like destiny,
they do not stir; the rain makes a flower.

Copyright © 10/28/18 lance sheridan®

The hunter

Andrew Wyeth

36 comments on “The hunter

  1. Silent Hour says:

    I love the way you draw me in!

  2. You are an artist, Lance! The way you capture character in a few words is priceless.

  3. Nika ♥️ says:

    I wish I could write with such eloquent descriptions ❤️

  4. librepaley8 says:

    Stark images, so evocative, the point of the year autumn turns towards winter.

  5. almerighi says:

    E’ bellissima Lance, la metto nella mia rubrica settimanale “Gioielli Rubati”, sei un grande! Saluti e stima dall’Italia.

  6. You’re very welcome, Flavio!

  7. MOMENTS says:

    Grazie per questa bella poesia, Lance. Non parlo italiano tanto bene come l’inglese, but as a Catalan person Italian just feels closer. Love the gorgeous imagery, the way you capture every moment of nature (the frost, the winter coming, the crows songs…), and the beautiful contrasts between coldness and warmth you paint with lovely words evoking all human senses. As a vegetarian almost vegan person hunting animals becomes repulsive to me, but I guess the good side is that controlled hunting balances the ecosystem. After all we human animals are also predatory and awfully cruel to everyone and every being on earth. But your poetry is so brilliant that it saves part of this brutality you turn into beauty and truth. Will read the Italian version now. Arrivederci in the realms of

  8. Marta, my sincere pleasure. Thank you for sharing- it’s a lovely poem! And yes, it is a pity. It all takes time though and perseverance.

  9. Wowza! You write From another time and place. As if I took a walk into that Wyeth painting and the world inside it came to life. I heard the crunching sound made by the hunter’s boots, spat out the dust and dried hair and moved inside the painting to the flowing of your words… and finally you took the harsh images away and “the rain makes a flower.” Sigh… Clear, precise images I could touch. Lovely.

  10. oldpoet56 says:

    Good story, good poem. I am going to reblog this one for you.

  11. I love the line “Winter roosts well within the wood.” Thanks for the poem.

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