Friday, 15 July 2016

Meeting in Woods

An old man runs on
A woodland track.

Sharp crack of a twig -
And the man stops dead.

Two beings now still
Each close to the other.

The man sees only
 The eyes of the deer.

The deer sees only
 The eyes of a man.

Something connects?
Something's exchanged?

The deer relaxes -
Finds the green shoots.

The man runs on
 And out of sight.


  1. This describes beautifully such a tranquil meeting - these things happen out in the country. I have come face to face with a deer too - but couldn't have described it as beautifully as this Gwil.

  2. The old man is a nice touch!

    1. Not getting any younger that's a fact.

  3. I’ve never encountered a deer in the wild but I did come face to face with a fox in a railway yard I used to frequent as a young teenager. I turned the corner of a guard’s van and there it was, as surprised by me as I was by it and we had what people like to refer to as “a moment” after which the fox trotted off at a leisurely pace clearly not threatened by me in the least. I guess this was the origin of the following quotes from my novels:

    A scraggly cat was surveying its kingdom from the relative comfort of the widow Duff’s front step. The creature stared up at the brothers—it afforded them one eye—they looked back and that was that; nothing passed between them. – Milligan and Murphy

    I approached my bench in the early afternoon to find the animal [a cat] laid… I mean lying… doggo on the ground beside it. As I went to sit it opened its eyes (but only a crack), identified me as the source of the disturbance, did a brisk risk assessment, decided in an instant I was harmless, feckless and most likely worthless and went back to basking in the heat. – The More Things Change

    1. Thank you Jim. I've also had such an unforgettable experience with a fox. It was an especially large and especially red dog fox. The biggest and healthiest specimen I've ever seen. We must have a stood for a good 5 minutes studying each other at close quarters. Then he bounded slowly and I think happily away. He must realized I was not one of the shotgun and hound fraternity. I have a copy of your novel Milligan and Murphy and have had much enjoyment from it.


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