The Deer Hunters Elegy

After a rain, after a branch soaked journey,

I sit near a clear cut watching silt filled

water lazily run off the open yard.

I stare at the torn floor,

my thinking fractured by the damage

and I imagine a small deer

watching from the trees in the distance

a lonely spikehorn

safely from me.

The ground is overchurned brown mixed with green, trampled

remains; beyond all repair.

Wind scrapes the earth with a shrill voice, tempest

over the desolate barren waste,

and I pull out my clip held bullets.

Inside, my heart stopped the hunt.

I think trying to get it straight, that once

there was shelter here to house and feed

kindred souls, gypsy hearts, while heaven's cool rains

would fully quench all yearning thirsts, and tenants

felt the moisture washing their blood.

It's because of this

that I sit here in this torture

with my thoughts clinging to life -

and feel disconsolate.

The commercialized death of this once existing growth

generates a dark and looming doom

that lurks near this pervading to destruction.

In my head, I see a squirming ghost of sheer complacency,

while bold free enterprisers with wheels and knives

drive onward through forests with persistence,

processing mechanical money beds.

But I sit here still alive,

no escape from the eyesore.

I try to imagine the confusion of the roar

the woodlands so dispersed, turning

into such ravished striplands as their space

shrinks, and their home, is lost.

But the truth remains unchanged.

The truth hides only as long as it takes to hurt

and the deer hides only as long

as the forest still stands

until his hiding places start turning

into man's cold spaces

into a final solutions

behind fences so ghastly unreal. Nowhere

left to run: species forced from their shelter -

and with this vision across this bare moonscape

and with this wind-swept air

lashing emptiness in front of me, the truth begins to hurt.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

A very controversial subject. This is a true story created from actual observance of this rape!

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Gnash Walker's picture

Nice thoughtful and colorful piece, Eric. I feel your sadness, but it is tinged with the realization that I stripped an acre of woodland to build my house, and another acre over my lifetime to provide the paper and wood products I need to live. A quandary. The only answer is to use our resources wisely, so that future generations will be able to enjoy them as well ... sustainable development is the buzzword, I believe. I'm not a hunter ... I am against killing for "sport". Ken

Christine Nadon's picture

This is such a wonderful poem. Would you happen to have a poem on magestic any chance. Still very good poem. P.S. I saw you on Themestream.

J M's picture

I really liked this. It is so true and so sad.

Martin Haas's picture

Eric, A well-written essay type poem, which I happen to agree with. Everywhere you see the paw of man coming down on nature. There are less deer where I live, etc. etc. I am a member of Defender's of Wildlife, they send email that makes it easy to send letters to your representatives. Let me know if you are interested in getting this. It is a terrible situation, portrayed in a comtemplative way by your poem. Liked how you used the abandoned house, and carried it along. Certain lines stuck out as being very to the point. One end line, "the money making fields?" but your line was better, this screen hides your poem. Will have to print out. These type poems need to be written, but I know they are hard to write. I do appreciate this poem.