Poem: Hunter’s ode, rainy day road

Wiper blades came unhinged
during a cold sweeping rain across the plains where deer eyed
the swaying stalks of golden sweet kernel,
thoughts, pictures of feeding the unborn,
hunters advance along the edges of the field, extended eyes bring targets into focus,
as if their large brown eyes could see me, to know me, reflections,
from mere peaceful moments with the herd,
cold breath seen like small mists withholding the true nature of what was about to take place,
with a single shot echoing across the windy valley,
the butt of a rifle heaving back against the shoulder keeping it in place,
a variable restraint, bruising my brown skin, riling the already burning tissue,
while on the other end of a bullet’s journey,
another’s flesh tears away,
giving way to the sharp bite of metal as it launched into another dimension,
in slow motion, but in a blink, invisible to the naked eye, yet,
we argue its existence,
the ancestral sight holds it under the umbrella of alchemical magic,
the rock of a slingshot to powder and smoke of flintlock,
lighting small rockets to rip through atoms of another life,
to see crimson markings dot the living soil;
wondering about the spears of tomorrow,
the doors of death we follow.
We all past back into whence we came, made from clay to be molded and re-molded;
another curtain on another play rises, Act I or Act V, the same is said.
In moment’s past, I’m the one who is felled,
feeling the ache of my last stand
not a single tear shed.

In past days, ancient practices, arrows fit back into leather quiver,
stained with new codes for new life, generations to behold.
Our gratefulness in achieving a sense of balance, for too much of one thing creates havoc,
one foot on haunches leaning in a leafy cover to follow the trail of a weak heart
beating to see the last moments of a friend pass by,
mourning such callous ways.
It was a moment I recognized from my own fragile days,
when two legs didn’t feel like enough to carry me away, to last another day.

A harvest multiplies for scavenger friends, opportunists,
including the tan and grey coyote, whose howl salutes the daylit moon from darkened dens
scattered near the rose-colored bluffs.
His grateful song continues, without delay.

Banquet tables and stomachs of winter will fill, with the venison for kings and queens,
the promise of abundance, and more promises,
which gives us a holiday feel,
Somehow a Christmas song
tales of musical note
remark of one antlered being with a red nose,
leading a flying herd,
lighting up the darkness,
associated with a jolly generous whip-wielding well-fed man,
dressed in crimson red,
the meanings crossed, tales of fantasy in one, and the harshness and scarcity of winter, but not far apart,
for such a hooved animal to sustain us both in carnal and spiritual ways,
uplifting, even joyous!

Either way, the wet of tracks mark the road,
I slowly drive home in my truck, spilled blood marking the flatbed,
and mud on the windshield,
I could barely see my way through.
Rain poured from a grey overcast sky to wash earth away from my view,
but not nearly enough of the day’s memories from trails crossed of being a hunter,
for the first time, forever,
both back and forward,
that I could see anymore clearly,
the steps in front of me.

Not hard to see the reason why.
In a moment, Earth becomes Sky.
Like a shot,
The truck overturns.
Now, a in a hunter’s world, upside down.

Published by: frankmarquezwritings

I'm a writer, and have been for most of my adult life. Without making this sound like a resume, I wrote creatively in college, dabbling in poetry, short stories and play writing. Later, I became a journalist, public affairs specialist, copy editor and eventually a guy who ran his own newspaper. Now, I'm back to letting my imagination run wild in some new creations including a science-fiction novel. Somehow, I also managed to teach English to high school kids, and roam the battlefields of Afghanistan as a field historian. Field historian may be a misnomer considering all I did was write abstracts summarizing military unit profiles and missions that included hundreds of interviews of troops and contractors in combat. I grew up in a small town called Gering, Nebraska, before escaping to Pomona, California, where I spent my last two years of high school, graduating from Ganesha High School in 1983. I have a Bachelors in English from the University of La Verne (1987), and a Masters in Education from UNLV (2007). In between, I worked for government - the Army and TSA. I served tours in Panama, D.C., and Tokyo, all thanks to a teacher who encouraged me to see the world before I settled down. As hobbies, I run, hike and bicycle long distances. I have also been known to surf and ski. I now live in my hometown after moving back in June 2015. I get to see family on a regular basis, breath fresh air, and not have to ride the D.C. metro or get stuck in traffic. In fact, I ride my bicycle whenever I can. I'm happily married to my wife Lisa, and we watch over a pack of fur babies, our dog Charley, and three cats Spike, Bootsy, and Franky (his shelter name). If you should ever visit me in west Nebraska, be prepared to feast your eyes on paradise.

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