Monday, September 2, 2013

The Hunter

©  Steve King
All rights reserved

I watched old Orion slip
behind the tallest tree,
sly and careless with his craft,
trailing the shiny bow,
sword forged in a perfect heat: 
he had his pick of stars.

Maybe I am patient bait
for all his bloody dreams,
tethered out in full display
beneath this quarter moon.

For me the earth turns quick,
the measure of all things—
rising suns will conquer nights,
just to lose their place again.
My soul will wrestle dark and light
and every hour shall contend.

Empty wishes will upend
my few deserved delights,
and dreams shall be the death of me,
but only ‘til the dawn returns
and burns them to their flight.

So silly I must seem, and small,
now, to that keen eye—
the gaze of one who ever preys,
the vision that would gather all,
that one who never blinks.

But I shall see things come and go,
while he does stand a wicked age,
empty bag and silence there,
wondering why it should be so:
waiting, still, for their approach,
circling lion,
sleeping bear.

(A post for dVerse OLN and Imaginary Garden With Real Toads)


  1. well, that puts it all in perspective. terrific lines.

  2. I like the way you have combined myth with personal experience.

  3. while he does stand a wicked age: love that, love.

    I love the mythology also. Two hunters, one celestial and the other earth bound.

  4. Beautiful language and imagery here. We seem to feel watched all the time these days! It was really quite wonderful to read of it on the mythic level - though maybe you also meant it on the more personal and modern one too - as it can surely be read that way!

    And wonderful that his bag is empty and you are the one watching. Thanks. k.

  5. A beautiful soliloquy under the night sky......I especially love the closing lines.

  6. Oh, I love this - just beautiful.

    'rising suns will conquer nights, just to lose their place again' caught my imagination.

  7. Lots of thoughtful material to ponder here, Steve--in our transience do we indeed actually know/experience more than something immutable and imperishable? You make an excellent case for it, and for our natures which bloom and fade, but know the earth, water and sky in every mood, the sacrifice at the heart of living that gives meaning even as life is flying from us. Fine work--good to see you posting.

  8. Our time in this universe may be shorter than that of the stars, but they too will die. They, unseeing watch us, we watch them but never see them change .

  9. when i was young i took a class ont eh night sky and constellations, it is something that stuck with me....think of all those stars have seen pass on our world....far more than we ever will...i wonder if they shared their experience with us if we would learn anything.....

  10. This piece surprised me --I don't know your body of work--but feel there is much depth here to digest--really a wonderful piece

  11. A very good read. Thanks.>KB

  12. Beautiful painting of the night sky Steve ~ I always enthralled with your work ~

  13. Solid work from stem to stern, but the final stanza combines a certain wonder with world-weariness in a truly compelling manner. Fine stuff, indeed.

  14. Myth and truth, a gorgeous poem Steve.

  15. Oh my, I just love this... Orion is my favorite constellation, and now I have a new reason to smile when I see him.

  16. Reading your fine poem, Steve...knocks hubris down to hell..keeping man in his place with your beautiful combination descriptions of myth and cosmos. A beautiful write! ~jackie~

  17. I love that you made those stars alive .. A wonderful rhythm and cadence, and a gentle melancholia that works so well :-)

  18. as a youth I devoured books on mythology..was so fascinated..enjoyed the mixture of myth with your own reality..especially like this line, 'My soul will wrestle dark and light,
    and every hour shall contend.'

  19. Very elegant verse. I've been writing about celestial objects lately and have read several others. Wonder why these threads of commonality take hold. It is not like we sent memos - just some kind of cosmic realization I think. This was wonderful with its sense of time, distance, change, and measurement.

  20. When my son was small I got a book on constellations, the night sky at different times of the year. We would find Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, and of course, Orion. Orion was easy, just look for the stars in his belt. For my son, Orion blended with the WWF, so he would find "Hulk Hogan's" belt in the sky. I smile to this day thinking of that! A lovely write as always, Steve. You have such a wonderful way with words.