Monday, June 27, 2016

New Poems from Tim Murphy

To Stephen Bodio

I dreamed I was striding beside your horse,

        dogs coursing in the mist,

        the falcon on your fist

husbanding her inconceivable force.

Shahin, hoping that we were hunting quail,

        spiraled aloft to hover

        as we quartered her cover.

Over the brush we saw a single sail,

then broke the covey. At an explosive flush

       the blinding stoop and kill.

       On a High Desert hill

she nibbled neck meat in the windless hush.

Yours is the hunter’s highest form of art.

       Beside my prairie stream

       I read your books and dream,

sharing the wild passion in your heart.

Horseman NOT!

I never learned to gallop on a horse.

       Just once my Stetson flew

       and even worse, I knew

greenhorn disgrace, bounced from my mount, of course.

Aged six I’d had a Shetland pony rear,

      throwing me to a rock

      where coming to in shock

Timmy conceived a new deep-seated fear.

Soon I’ll fly south to ride with Bodio

      and watch his falcon sail

      high over furtive quail,

hoping my host will let us take it slow.

Mountains for me are best designed for walking,

       hoisting a heavy pack

       up a steep switchback track

or seated on a saddle gently rocking.

Road Trip

Syrdal and I flew down to Albuquerque

to hunt spruce grouse, cousin to our wild turkey.

Steve flew his goshawk (said to taste like chicken.)

It was a thrill to see that big bird kickin’

grouse from the air, felling them for Steve’s hounds

who warily circled our killing grounds.

This was a trip on each man’s bucket list.

Steve’s books and some Youtubes you might have missed

were all we knew of what we came to see,

New Mexico’s desolate majesty

where Steve mastered the art of falconry.

(An ornithological correction: we are too far south for spruce grouse.Though if we did hawk for them, a Gos, one of their natural predators, would be a good choice. Seems that "Sage" would work, poetically and historically, although our population is no longer huntable).

Siberian male Gos on the Hi- Line in Montana, chasing Sharptails, by Rob Palmer at Falcon photos.


Tim Murphy said...

Ouch, senior moment. I meant to write sage grouse. Flushed my first spruce grouse high above the Big Sandy Entrance to the Winds. Right under my horse hooves. Up went the pony, down went Tim. Horseman NOT!

Tim Murphy said...

Steve, bring a goshawk up here, and we'll put it on some sharpies. Tim

Peculiar said...

Beautiful stuff!