Sunday, October 3, 2010

Predator Words

A White Tailed Deer. I hope it was only hunted by camera. In looking for a photo I found a hunting site, with photos of hunters glorying in the kill. I cannot have a real opinion about an activity that is basically millions of years old in the human lineage. I will only say I am not and cannot be a hunter. I hope it never comes to that. It would break my heart. I am a meat eater. I don't care that eating meat is hypocritical for one in my position about hunting. I just don't care. I won't be able to get over it.

The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.
-- Benjamin Disraeli

One of my favorite images of success is the image of the King's Hunt from the ancient chinese wisdom stories. It is told that the king goes on the hunt with his whole retinue, who form an open box formation, but with a line of beaters directly in front of the king. There are three sides to the box, the king's right and left, and behind him, and as I have already said, there is a line of beaters blocking the direct path to the king as well. The whole formation moves at a stately pace, driving game before it, and the open side ahead of the line of beaters in front of the king allows all game to escape in that direction, to get out of the box. So the game must wind up somehow going down a corridor sideways to the main direction of travel or it will not reach the king's range, and always the game can turn around and escape by reversing its track and then running in the direction still open to it. The reason for this is that then the game that ends in the corridor directly in front of the king has wound up there from a series of turns that indicate it is God's will that the king take the game. There has been ample alternatives that the game has chosen from to escape or not. It is assumed then that this game is God's gift to the king. Also then, it in its own way mirrors the gift that a successful hunt is in the world of nature.

It is well known that hunters in the shamanic traditions are expected to treat the gift of meat as a royal gift, an offering of the totem spirit of the animal, and a participation in the web of life. In this way, sometimes my poems come to me as offerings.

Predator Words

The northern sun sits
high above the horizon
of auroral dreams,
dreams of the long way
home, of singular bare trees,
dry and hot, leafless,
dying or just dead.
In the wild of my long life
around the corner
there lurk predator
words that ache for expression,
aching for the truth.

July 22, 2009 12:40 PM


  1. Interesting image - predator words, especially as people typically think of poets as prey. I think there's a fierceness to even the most gentle poetry that many don't discern. It's the poet jumping for the kill.

  2. Hmmm. I thought like you said is usual. The words lurking and killing the poet. There is a fierceness to the poem that leaves me on the ground half eaten. I am not in charge. I have written so much poetry in the last few years, have been ravaged by repeated attacks.

  3. And yet you survive to write more... :)

  4. Like is my burden :D

  5. This one is dark for you, Cristopher. Fun though!

  6. Rachel, I am perfectly capable of living in the murky caves of despond, dancing with the dark elves under the dark star.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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