One shot

By Nicholas Hooper
I wrote this poem to give balance to my previous one ‘Shoot’, but I would emphasise that I have never shot a living thing. I was inspired to write this after I heard ‘Chasing the deer’ by Alex Massie on BBC Radio 4. In his podcast, he talks of the seriousness of shooting a deer and the respect given to the animal after its death, and he makes the case for culling deer in order to protect the environment.

It took one shot to end a life.
A life lived in mountains and glens.
You king of deer, you creature of great horns,
of antlers that had spread and grown over long years,
of being the best beast in a rut, of being the strongest, the biggest.

Now you lie, oh noble one, at our feet as we stand in solemn silence
at the passing of your spirit, as we bare our heads
in the cold drizzle and think of the meaning
of what we have done in bringing you
down to the earth where you lie, now.

You’ve had your life, your ‘one shot’
and you made the best of it, conquering all
who would challenge you, to sire more of your kind.
Your kind who would ravage woods and land, for none will
stand in your way except for we humans who have rid you of your nemesis.

But we are the wolves now, where no wolves live.



About Dawnings:
“Every morning at around 5am I get up and go down to my studio. After a short meditation I write down whatever is in my head, giving myself fifteen minutes to do so. Then moving over to the piano (or a more portable instrument like my Ukulele when I'm away), I improvise and record a piece of music inspired by whatever words I just wrote. It is a great way of keeping both my writing and my composing going and I call these small creations Dawnings. They are mostly unedited, like sketches, so that they keep that fresh feeling of an early morning discovery.”

— Nick Hooper