The Art of Hunting

By Hayden Church

“Still Life with Dead Game” by Willem van Aelst, 1661

Across the cattailled pond, clouds overcast
Lily pad the darling ocean glass sky,
Hawkish portent becoming reborn in
Aubergine-specked shimmering nightfall.

The hunting Bloodhound perceives the mallard’s grace,
Spectacular array of mottled down
Ravaged viciously for the act’s beauty,
Taming the fowl for morningtide’s glee.

Blood-soil cotton sprouts oppugned perfectly—
Chance begets chance, the bleeding roots scour clean;
Ginning in the auroral spread of God’s
Magnificence, in each day’s new jack sun,

We become ourselves and each other.
Piercing our ears, the hound’s call beckons pertness,
Sanctity, new—of liberty’s fullest,
Bellied beast, whose jowls birth creation.

Manned steel shots, precise and determined,
Singe the snarly mice-bed grass indifferent,
As the flying prey’s forgotten escape
Peaks the white-frothed hound’s savage impulse.