When is no blog? by Sandra Horn

 

When would no blog have been better than a cobbled-together effort? You may be about to find out…

Spring is about to be sprung, so here’s a hare prose poem:

 


 Hare

THE FIELD SPARKLES WITH LATE FROST. In the shadow of the hedge, the leveret crouches low, as brown as the earth that cradles her. Sharp eyes watch for her, sharp ears listen for her, sharp noses twitch to sniff her out. She knows nothing of teeth and talons, nothing of snares and guns and cutting blades. She knows only to be still in her shallow scoop.

AS THE FIRST STARS RISE, there is a low thrumming on the air; her mother’s call. She is washed to rid her of the scent that could betray her, filled with warm sweet milk, left alone to the night and stillness once again. 

MAY BLOSSOM PERFUMES THE HEDGEROW. Her mother’s call does not come. When the moon rises, hunger nips her. She cleans her fur, creeps from the shadow of the hedge into the field.  She crops the soft, low grass shoots.  While she feeds, her eyes glance here and there, her ears lift, her nose twitches, tasting the air. When the smell of fox hangs sharp on the night, when the shadow of an owl’s wing brushes the sky, she crouches flat, as still as the earth beneath her, as silent as the face of the moon above. 

IN THE EARLY DAWN, she moves round the edge of the field, keeping low.  She looks, listens, tastes the air, as wakeful and watchful as the sun.  When morning brightens the sky, she creeps back amongst the brambles under the hedge; silent and still when the hawk circles, when the stoat dances, when the snake slithers.

IN THE EARLY SUMMER TWILIGHTS, she learns her way round the fields and woods. She scrapes out secret shallow places where she can rest in safety.  She finds hidden pathways through the grass and under the hedge. She keeps them clear with her teeth and claws. 

ONE DAY, there is something new in the field; something in the air; a strange, foul smell.  She runs to one of her hidden paths, but the smell is stronger there.  There are broken tufts of fur in the grass; stalks flattened by a vain struggle for life; blood. She turns away.  She does not use the path again.

SHADOWS SHORTEN IN THE LONG DRY DAYS.  Corn in the field grows tall. Stalks are hard, leaves leathery.  She cannot reach the soft young leaves. Driven by hunger, she moves silently through her hidden paths, searching, searching.  She finds a belt of sweet wild herbs and grasses round the edge of a distant field.  She finds a hedge left uncut, its branches hanging low, fringed with juicy leaf-buds. In a hazel copse, there are green shoots under the trees. 

THE YOUNG HARE LAZES IN THE AUTUMN AFTERNOON. Above her head, leaves dance in the wind, blowing here and there, this way and that.  She hears running and snuffling through the grass. She smells something new.  Dogs. They are coming, they are closing in.  Cruel fangs. Slavering mouths. They have her scent; stillness cannot hide her.  

SHE SPRINGS UP, jumping and jinking, dancing here there and somewhere else, swift as the wind.  The dogs stare.  They run towards her. She is not there!  They turn; she is behind them.  They turn again; she’s gone. Weary and muddled, the dogs creep away.

THE DANDELION CLOCKS ARE ALL BLOWN. Frost touches the trees with scarlet and gold. Snow drifts across the fields.  In her thick winter coat, the young hare moves from the whiteness of the snow to the brown stems of the copse.  There is shelter there, low-growing branches, green shoots under the fallen leaves.

AS THE FIRST MOONRISE OF THE NEW SPRING silvers the night, the young hare moves through the dusk, skirting the furrowed field, finding food in the places she has come to know.  As she moves, she watches, listens, tastes the air. When the fox calls, when the owl is on the wing, when the stoat slithers, she is as still as the earth, as silent as the moon, as watchful as the sun.  When danger comes close, she runs, leaps and dances away, swift as the wind.

A YEAR HAS PASSED; she has learned how to live and to be a hare.

 

I'm sorry! My keyboard has gone pazzo and misses out random letters so I have to keep re-typing everything, hence the copy-and-paste. Aargh!! 

Comments

Susan Price said…
Sandra, I wish I could 'cobble together' something that good!
I love the touches, such as, 'The dandelion clocks are all blown' and 'the stoat dances'.
Beautiful.
Umberto Tosi said…
You've proved again that the best salads are straight from the fridge.

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