Elk Hunting Poetry
The Hunters There were but two beneath the sky - The thing I wished to Kill and I. I, covertly, quietly sat and Watched him sense his eternity- From quivering brush to pointed nose. Slowly my gun to shoulder rose. And then I too felt (I could not see) Far off another hunter watching me. So slowly, slowly I put my rifle by For there were two things who had to die - The thing I wished to kill - and I. ​American Indian Poems - Courtesy of Firstpeople.com ​A Wedge of History in the Moonlight The wedge of wood was lying beside the muddy path at the top of the trail. We had eyed it as we trudged past it five days before, but in the moonlight, it was more inviting. It seemed to say, "Hey, take me with you!" We were on a necessary 2:30 AM homeward run. The slippery hoarfrost granted passage denied by the snowless daytime wilderness. The stillness was punctuated by the fragrance of pine tar gouged by rocks from the toboggan's wood bottom. We stopped the elk hunter's meat haul, tucked the beckoning trinket under the toboggan prow and headed down the mountain trail. We decided to explore the wedge of ant-tunneled spruce! Some scrubbing and sanding laid open the soul of this botanic witness. One-hundred and sixty-six seasons the tree withstood the winter gales and summer warmth in Colorado's Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Even much earlier it was a proud forest resident because the trail crew's saw had not cut near its childhood heart. The mighty tree finally succumbed to mere beetles in the 1940s, shortly after we began our earthly odyssey. Curious, we connected our computer's history time line to the tree rings. The human misery of two major wars barely registered since they occurred as the tree was dying. Back in time, the wood cell ledger wound through the Civil War, Pasteur's first vaccine, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the French Revolution. This tree was majestic even when George Washington assumed office! About 1840 the rings became closer together, indicating a climatic change toward long-term dryness. Was this a response to the effects of beaver dam destruction with trapping, of westward expansion under Manifest Destiny, and the plowing of verdant prairies by John Deer's sod-busting new tractors? Did the broad rings in the late 1880s reflect stratosphere ash clouds and cooler, wetter years following the volcanic explosion of Krakatoa on the other side of the world? Our minds wandered and wondered. It is amazing how long this tree stood while history moved by. Nature meets time's testing, but we boastful men prove mortal. ​Our curiosity of the trailside discard provided unexpected rewards. It made us again cognizant that simple things can be much richer than all the toys at K Mart or Cabela’s. And as the wood lies on our coffee table, we are reminded of how little time we are given. There is too little time to be wasted, or unappreciated, or uncherished. (copyright 1995 P.K. Groth) A Skag’s Lament When your brash country whimpered to its rightful birth I was already tall and vibrant, of youthful forest mirth And stood confidently upon this mountain without fear, While from a church beacon's light rode Paul Revere. Three painful wars upon this land's newly tested soil And four more your sacrificed young men did toil. Domains of kings and tyrants and fools collapsed But for me t'was merely time - time that lapsed. Through my boughs, winds wove your shuddering cries As devilish dust bowls parched and passed crops by. And depressions stole from men their hopes and dreams While "progress" defiled land and soiled your streams. Defeated I lay in curious, apprehensive trail-side sleep To see what promises men will eventually choose to keep Of inspiring verdant prime forests and fantasy blue skies Forever harbored for the jubilation of next heirs' eyes. My woody soul now longs to melt, to return into my Colorado womb, Slowly carried by beetles, ants, fungus - to my eternal soil tomb. Friend, you too, old and beaten, someday may also accept to go, Reclaimed by the passages of life you've come to joyfully know. (Copyright P.K. Groth 1995) The Preacher and the Elk Our minister would fish So well that I wish I could fish just half that way. While we could only wish, He'd say, The Lord favored me today". Time did indeed fly and the summer slipped by. Hunting season was upon us again. The Reverend announced his intent To the Knight of the Leaky Tents To join us when hunting would begin. Said, "I'll tell you the truth, I was quite a hunter in my youth." And spun them a long and tall tale. Said, "I'm good on my feet and I sure can use the meat. I'm sure that in elk I'll prevail." His luck was astoundingly profound, For each day, he soon found Elk just waiting to be shot. But for five days full, He missed his bull: A marksman, our minister was not! Nor our advice, he neither heeded Saying none was really needed. "At risk of bragging, I must say That I'm an excellent shot, - One of the best of the lot. The Lord was just merciful to elk today." Poem in publication by Eugene Shea, Wyoming poet, Hanna, Wyoming) Only A Mountain Thunderstorm Noonday bright, the lightening flashed And split the coal black sky asunder As old Bill rode out upon the mountain Amid the clash of booming thunder. "Only a mountain thunderstorm," he said And an old timer like Bill would know As he rode down the ridge to check on The elk herd bedded in the valley below. Angry storm clouds swept down the peak Bringing rain in sheets with the gale. Blinding lightening showed for a second Muddy torrents of water down the trail. In time, the storm blew itself out. Settled down to just a hard cold rain. Only another thunderstorm. Old bill had been right again. But, the night went by with no Bill. What could delay so long his return? As midnight dragged on toward dawn, I was sure it was time for concern. At the first gray of morn, I was riding, And I must confess that I feared the worst. End of the ridge, I found Bill and his horse, But lightening had found them there first. Copyrighted poem written by Hanna, Wyomi ng poet Eugene Shea, from his 1993 book "Antidote For Cabin Fever." October - 1885 Hunter’s Poem There comes a month in a weary year, - A month of leisure and healthful rest: When the ripe leaves fall and the air is clear, - October - the brown, the crisp, the blest. My life has little enough of bliss: I drag the days of odd seven. Counting the time that shall lead to this, - The month that opens hunter’s heaven. And oh! For the mornings crisp and white, With the sweep of the hounds upon the track; The dark-roofed cabin, the campfire’s light The break of the deer, and the rifle’s crack. Do you call this trifling? I tell you, friend, A life in the forest is past all praise; Give me a dozen such months on end; You may take my balance of years and days. For brick and mortar breed filth and crime, And a pulse of evil that throbs and beats; And men grow withered before their prime, With the curse paved in on the lanes and streets; And lungs are choked, and shoulders are bowed, In the smoking reek of mill and mine; And Death stalks in on the struggling crowd, But they shuns the shadow of oak and pine. And of all to which the memory clings, There nought so sweet as the sunny spots Where our shanties stood by the crystal springs, The vanished hounds and the lucky shots. Unknown author. From The Humbler Poets, 1885 We Are The Forest Ghosts We are the forms warped by twilight and dusk. The stumps which arise and begin to move, The cause for alighting of trickster raven. We are the white bones basking on knolls Visible at morning’s first emerging light. We are the bent trails in the grass of time, The subtle rustling of aspen leaves, The quick snap of a weary branch, or The rumbling echoes of a falling tree, The forms roving in evening mists. Our spirits might be tent-side hoof beats, The dust in you squinting salty eyes, The cool breeze that caresses your cheek, The lurking shadows by evening trees, Or the sacred sudden hush at day’s end. We will be renewed with life With the bleating of our newborn, The suckling on patient mothers , The cavorting of toddler friends And the desire for another spring. In our wind stroked alpine pastures May we become part of your life praises When you graciously enter our realms. Take our bodies for your nourishment. Remember the amazing cycles of life, Honor the passages through which all life flows. Tread in syncopation to our realms’ heart throbs. View the forest as your and our cathedral, a refuge. Leave naught behind in true wilderness respect. Treasure the stillness of our eternities ~~~~ Travel like us - we, the elk ghosts of our forest. Copyright P. Groth. Cow and calf photos courtesy = S. J. Lindquist
© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page
Elk Hunting Poetry
The Hunters There were but two beneath the sky - The thing I wished to Kill and I. I, covertly, quietly sat and Watched him sense his eternity- From quivering brush to pointed nose. Slowly my gun to shoulder rose. And then I too felt (I could not see) Far off another hunter watching me. So slowly, slowly I put my rifle by For there were two things who had to die - The thing I wished to kill - and I. ​American Indian Poems - Courtesy of Firstpeople.com ​A Wedge of History in the Moonlight The wedge of wood was lying beside the muddy path at the top of the trail. We had eyed it as we trudged past it five days before, but in the moonlight, it was more inviting. It seemed to say, "Hey, take me with you!" We were on a necessary 2:30 AM homeward run. The slippery hoarfrost granted passage denied by the snowless daytime wilderness. The stillness was punctuated by the fragrance of pine tar gouged by rocks from the toboggan's wood bottom. We stopped the elk hunter's meat haul, tucked the beckoning trinket under the toboggan prow and headed down the mountain trail. We decided to explore the wedge of ant-tunneled spruce! Some scrubbing and sanding laid open the soul of this botanic witness. One-hundred and sixty-six seasons the tree withstood the winter gales and summer warmth in Colorado's Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Even much earlier it was a proud forest resident because the trail crew's saw had not cut near its childhood heart. The mighty tree finally succumbed to mere beetles in the 1940s, shortly after we began our earthly odyssey. Curious, we connected our computer's history time line to the tree rings. The human misery of two major wars barely registered since they occurred as the tree was dying. Back in time, the wood cell ledger wound through the Civil War, Pasteur's first vaccine, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the French Revolution. This tree was majestic even when George Washington assumed office! About 1840 the rings became closer together, indicating a climatic change toward long-term dryness. Was this a response to the effects of beaver dam destruction with trapping, of westward expansion under Manifest Destiny, and the plowing of verdant prairies by John Deer's sod-busting new tractors? Did the broad rings in the late 1880s reflect stratosphere ash clouds and cooler, wetter years following the volcanic explosion of Krakatoa on the other side of the world? Our minds wandered and wondered. It is amazing how long this tree stood while history moved by. Nature meets time's testing, but we boastful men prove mortal. ​Our curiosity of the trailside discard provided unexpected rewards. It made us again cognizant that simple things can be much richer than all the toys at K Mart or Cabela’s. And as the wood lies on our coffee table, we are reminded of how little time we are given. There is too little time to be wasted, or unappreciated, or uncherished. (copyright 1995 P.K. Groth) A Skag’s Lament When your brash country whimpered to its rightful birth I was already tall and vibrant, of youthful forest mirth And stood confidently upon this mountain without fear, While from a church beacon's light rode Paul Revere. Three painful wars upon this land's newly tested soil And four more your sacrificed young men did toil. Domains of kings and tyrants and fools collapsed But for me t'was merely time - time that lapsed. Through my boughs, winds wove your shuddering cries As devilish dust bowls parched and passed crops by. And depressions stole from men their hopes and dreams While "progress" defiled land and soiled your streams. Defeated I lay in curious, apprehensive trail-side sleep To see what promises men will eventually choose to keep Of inspiring verdant prime forests and fantasy blue skies Forever harbored for the jubilation of next heirs' eyes. My woody soul now longs to melt, to return into my Colorado womb, Slowly carried by beetles, ants, fungus - to my eternal soil tomb. Friend, you too, old and beaten, someday may also accept to go, Reclaimed by the passages of life you've come to joyfully know. (Copyright P.K. Groth 1995) The Preacher and the Elk Our minister would fish So well that I wish I could fish just half that way. While we could only wish, He'd say, The Lord favored me today". Time did indeed fly and the summer slipped by. Hunting season was upon us again. The Reverend announced his intent To the Knight of the Leaky Tents To join us when hunting would begin. Said, "I'll tell you the truth, I was quite a hunter in my youth." And spun them a long and tall tale. Said, "I'm good on my feet and I sure can use the meat. I'm sure that in elk I'll prevail." His luck was astoundingly profound, For each day, he soon found Elk just waiting to be shot. But for five days full, He missed his bull: A marksman, our minister was not! Nor our advice, he neither heeded Saying none was really needed. "At risk of bragging, I must say That I'm an excellent shot, - One of the best of the lot. The Lord was just merciful to elk today." Poem in publication by Eugene Shea, Wyoming poet, Hanna, Wyoming) Only A Mountain Thunderstorm Noonday bright, the lightening flashed And split the coal black sky asunder As old Bill rode out upon the mountain Amid the clash of booming thunder. "Only a mountain thunderstorm," he said And an old timer like Bill would know As he rode down the ridge to check on The elk herd bedded in the valley below. Angry storm clouds swept down the peak Bringing rain in sheets with the gale. Blinding lightening showed for a second Muddy torrents of water down the trail. In time, the storm blew itself out. Settled down to just a hard cold rain. Only another thunderstorm. Old bill had been right again. But, the night went by with no Bill. What could delay so long his return? As midnight dragged on toward dawn, I was sure it was time for concern. At the first gray of morn, I was riding, And I must confess that I feared the worst. End of the ridge, I found Bill and his horse, But lightening had found them there first. Copyrighted poem written by Hanna, Wyoming poet Eugene Shea, from his 1993 book "Antidote For Cabin Fever." October - 1885 Hunter’s Poem There comes a month in a weary year, - A month of leisure and healthful rest: When the ripe leaves fall and the air is clear, - October - the brown, the crisp, the blest. My life has little enough of bliss: I drag the days of odd seven. Counting the time that shall lead to this, - The month that opens hunter’s heaven. And oh! For the mornings crisp and white, With the sweep of the hounds upon the track; The dark-roofed cabin, the campfire’s light The break of the deer, and the rifle’s crack. Do you call this trifling? I tell you, friend, A life in the forest is past all praise; Give me a dozen such months on end; You may take my balance of years and days. For brick and mortar breed filth and crime, And a pulse of evil that throbs and beats; And men grow withered before their prime, With the curse paved in on the lanes and streets; And lungs are choked, and shoulders are bowed, In the smoking reek of mill and mine; And Death stalks in on the struggling crowd, But they shuns the shadow of oak and pine. And of all to which the memory clings, There nought so sweet as the sunny spots Where our shanties stood by the crystal springs, The vanished hounds and the lucky shots. Unknown author. From The Humbler Poets, 1885 We Are The Forest Ghosts We are the forms warped by twilight and dusk. The stumps which arise and begin to move, The cause for alighting of trickster raven. We are the white bones basking on knolls Visible at morning’s first emerging light. We are the bent trails in the grass of time, The subtle rustling of aspen leaves, The quick snap of a weary branch, or The rumbling echoes of a falling tree, The forms roving in evening mists. Our spirits might be tent-side hoof beats, The dust in you squinting salty eyes, The cool breeze that caresses your cheek, The lurking shadows by evening trees, Or the sacred sudden hush at day’s end. We will be renewed with life With the bleating of our newborn, The suckling on patient mothers , The cavorting of toddler friends And the desire for another spring. In our wind stroked alpine pastures May we become part of your life praises When you graciously enter our realms. Take our bodies for your nourishment. Remember the amazing cycles of life, Honor the passages through which all life flows. Tread in syncopation to our realms’ heart throbs. View the forest as your and our cathedral, a refuge. Leave naught behind in true wilderness respect. Treasure the stillness of our eternities ~~~~ Travel like us - we, the elk ghosts of our forest. Copyright P. Groth. Cow and calf photos courtesy = S. J. Lindquist
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page.
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