Poems From the Wood came about, still come about, during hunting season. Which begins, for me, mid-September through nearly the end of January.
I hunt. I make no apologies for hunting. Nor am I interested in the arguments for or against hunting. Life is short, hunting seasons are limited. I am hunter. And a writer of poetry.
My father never hunted. Grandfather, uncle, cousins, an aunt’s boyfriend and their stories told at Thanksgiving and Christmas entered into me and spoke and I said, “Here am I.”
My father, though no hunter, was a preacher and that may be a type of hunting which knows no season and part of the reasons, just like the hunting stories, I became a hunter. A reader of sign. Someone who came to realize that tracks and sign and knowledge don’t always lead to the destination you thought you were going to.
These poems have been written in tree stands, on the ground. Have caught me with pen in hand rather than a bow or rifle as a deer walked by as I considered just why I was where I was doing what I was doing.
“Hunting,” I would remind myself finding the right word putting the notebook and pen away and looking and listening to the woods.
Of course I think the woods are the first sanctuary. These poems an offering. And hope that when you read them, they speak to you.
I have only followed the sign to bring you and I together here.