Thursday, October 9, 2008

Back to the Hunt

Heading out elk hunting tomorrow. Hallelujah.

When I think -- or feel -- what that means to me, what comes to mind is not something I've written (although you can read a piece about why I hunt in Traditional Bowhunter). What captures it best for me is a poem by Norwood, Colo.-based poet Art Goodtimes. This is from his collection As if the World Really Mattered.

Skinning the Elk

I can’t stop peering
into the glazed crystal
of those antlered eyes.
Two perfect rivets
welded to the girder of that
skeletal moment when
the bullet’s magic
cut life short.

Later,
after the carcass is hung
in a cottonwood tree,
I go inside to wash my hands.
But the blood won’t come off.

There’s no mistake.
I am marked for life.
I wear the elk’s tattoo,
as its meat becomes my meat
& its blood stains my blood.

Spirit leaping
from shape to shape.

1 comment:

  1. I very much enjoyed this poem. I stumbled across it accidentally whilst travelling through blogland and my initial reaction was "Oh noooooooooooooooo!" (I am a vegetarian of 19 years).
    But it is written so well, and the respect for the animal comes across so poignantly, that I couldn't help but respect it, even though I don't agree with it. I love it when writing does that.

    ReplyDelete