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Sunday, 23 September 2012

The lovelorn hunt for deer - Katharine Beeman

The lovelorn hunt for deer

The lovelorn
hunt for deer
to country crooners
on the car radio.

Why shouldn't old highways
hold histories,
signposts passing
signal our past?

The hunt, deftly performed,
is the prideful, gratifying part.
The kill, only
the momentary conclusion
of a carefully crafted plan
based on intimate,
detailed knowledge
of the quarry.

Even though a deer may be
almost anywhere
in a given section of cover,
most of the time,
it won't be.

Deer beds
in cedar swamps,
green swamps,
jackpine flats.

An individual deer may be,
at any time,
anywhere it wants to be,
which means that it may be ...

Water is the key,
looking for the particular --
where the deer may be.

Meat hunters, rather than trophy,
we must know anatomy.

The sight of the human face,
the sound of the human voice,
the human smell
anathema are to deer.

lore and lure,
the lexicon of deer --
evolved expressions
of the tail,
and in the night,
what lonely few have heard,
the bark.

There are deer here

in the centre of 100 acres,
one or more deer,
at most 575,
at least, 350
yards away.

Rattling of antlers --
like a broken heart,
proof of deer past

Ever hopeful
we enter the hunt. 

Katharine Beeman

from her chapbook The lovelorn hunt for deer
Kasus Books, Montreal
2010, 20 pages  n.p.

note: I received this haunting collection from Katharine at PurdyFest #5, and she dedicated the copy: 
For Subaru Chris, along the hiways' histories

Katharine, Simon, Melanie and I had spent an afternoon visiting Petroglyphs Provincial Park, and the four of us found the experience spiritually empowering.    

p.s. I have heard the deer bark

Sept. 25/12
Hi Katharine,
Glad you like the blog, & approve of posting your poem. It's a lovely little chapbook, if hunting for deer can be considered lovely  :  ) I know some of my TO friends thought I'd gone redneck when I moved out here & started hunting & fishing again. (but then they eat mammals, & I don't - if you're going to eat something, you should be ready to hunt, kill & butcher it). There is so much contained in just a few pages of LOVELORN, & the pics are evocative of what it's like to be in the woods, esp. on a hunt. Hope the posting gets you some new readers.

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... and Chase 

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On 2012-09-25, at 11:39 AM, Katharine Beeman wrote:

Hi Chris,

Thanks a lot! I know many people read your wonderful blog, The  t  is missing in meat, first word in a stanza in the middle of the poem.
hugs, pats and walks in the woods,

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