Running With Deer

the deerRunning With Deer

antlered and loop-tailed and amber-eyed beings whose resplendent weirdness loosens our imaginations

                       David Abram

The first time I saw him,

he was barely seen — except for a tail

and antlers divining the wind

for a safer direction.


Something had disturbed him

beyond my presence or dry leaves

scuttling over the rock wall. Restless


I wanted to run with him

crackling in  the green

bonfire of bush and fern

toward an uphill retreat — where pines

edged the sky with gothic grace


and the mitered deer

stood vocalizing his need

to create. The primal song

almost making the sap

flicker within its votive wood.


And in that place

I would do the same

calling down from childhood

the wild spirit

that taught me how to hunt

and explore,


trust in the trees

(their roots and rings)

and the depth of stillness

found in stone, water or those

eluding their fate.


The other mammal ( in me)

crying to the moon. His moon

he so often gripped

with his headdress of bone

sheathed in velour. His eyes burning

through the charcoal haze


as he’d keep belling for a mate

and myself for a dream,

an idea

a storyteller’s shadow

I would come to love

or disown.




  1. ” making the sap

    flicker within its votive wood.”

    Poetry in full bloom!


    Some days when I need a break, I drive through winding country roads. The steep inclines
    and the sharp turns take my full attention but then the road levels off as it traces the edge
    of a meadow, and there I find my bliss… a buck , ears twitched for danger as he guards his
    harem. The russet coats the twitching white tails…the sheer beauty and energy in that still
    scene. You capture it all with your poem. What a super way to start my day.

    Thank you!



  2. Hi Sarah

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful views of my poem and that personal experience of your own
    “deer sighting”. They are such incredibly mysterious and beautiful creatures. I remember in 2001 while walking through the Autumn woods ( of my home in New York, I saw the traces of a white-tailed buck rushing through bushes and ferns. It was only a glimpse of him, letting me catch the tail and antlers. But I kept thinking what a beautiful creature and how much I wanted to follow him somewhere and find something that would inspire me to write a poem or even a journal entry. I had been restless and plagued by writer’s block, almost desperate to find an idea or even a fragment of one. That buck was a catalyst, energizing my determination to keep thinking and searching. For that instance, I wanted to run with him, in a body like his, inheriting the primal instincts of the deer and divining the secrets of forest. And yes, eventually I found something and the voice through which I could express it.

    again, thank you
    I appreciate your thoughtfulness so much!
    My Best


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