He came down from the mountains as autumn aged, before the paths could pile with snow and the bridges bowed with ice. After eighty-nine days he had still not found a trace of his goal. Every morning he had trekked the, by now familiar, circuit looking for any signs that his quarry had passed by, always with the same negative result. It had been the same for the past three years. his hunting skills had been slowly diminishing. He knew that he would not spend another season on these mountains. He had made friends with bears, the wild mountain goats, the eagles that swooped high over the mountain. He called them friends without receiving anything in return but the pleasure of fleeting sightings as armed only with camera and binoculars he had watched the parent beasts and their offspring, in their battles for life in this harsh territory. There were good and bad times but they had all given him the pleasure he craved. He had but one regret. With two more cameras to check, once again he was beginning to feel disheartened. He saw the red light blinking as he approached, at least it had caught something. Could this be the one he was looking for. He crouched down on the damp soil and removing his knapsack reached in to pull out his laptop. Releasing his fingers from the thick mittens he plugged a lead into the top of the box and crossing his fingers, once more waited for the picture to appear. The screen looked snowy at first. Interference providing it’s own blizzard conditions but as it started to clear he felt the usual tense stirrings of excitement. In the top corner were two dots of light, pinpointed in the infra-red beam. Could this be the one? Eyes, and they were coming closer. It was unmistakable, a round off-white, cat-like face, black whiskers trembling. His first snow-leopard. Proof that they were still in the area. He started to cry. Nothing else would or could ever compare to this moment.
Category Archives: Self compositions
With a hungry child,
the rent man knocking, calls for
those who buy her services
seldom gain or give delight
Morning mists massage
pebbles released from slumber,
frenzied, foam-tipped waves.
Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on Pexels.com
The road to enlightenment appears through the sands of time.
Mist tendrils, as smoke
over dark, placid water,
silver-flanked fish roll.
The snow is falling harder now. I love the way the air always seems a little warmer just before the first flakes start to drift lazily down, instantly forming minute droplets of water on the surface of my jacket and legs. I’ve been sitting on my three-legged stool for what seems like hours, my gaze fixed on the gap between the trees. The leaden sky has finally decided to release it’s heavy load.
Without warning he suddenly appears, pawing at the ground. He surely realises that if the snow gets any harder the grass will soon become buried and he will have to move to the edges of the field. Already the does have moved back into the shelter of the trees. He doesn’t want to join them but will have to if he is desperate for food. He will be forced to try to strip some of the few remaining leaves from the branches, curling his long tongue delicately around each scarce morsel. Rough sustenance that will have to suffice if the hard frozen ground remains covered for too long.
My bent legs are beginning to ache but to move now would be to tempt disaster. Although I am downwind and he is unlikely to pick up my scent, the slightest rustle and he would probably bound away across the, by now, white coated grass.
His head rises, the magnificent antlers broad, curving in a wide arc from his dark, tawny brow. He turns and stares in my direction, proud, defiant, as if he knows what I must do. I blame the wind for the wetness I can feel in the corners of my eyes and the thin trickle on my cheek. Can he sense the inevitable? In one slow, easy movement I am able to get in one, two, a burst of shots. He jumps back in surprise and a sudden gust whips a flurry of snow around him obscuring my view.
I don’t care what has happened for I have what I came for. A check in the viewfinder shows me how successful the shoot has been.
Listen to the wail
of the soul that cannot wake,
day of reckoning.
a void, in life,
in mind, then unprovoked
memories once imagined lost,
Silently he stares
defying his tormentors
wind and ocean in concert
to orchestrate his downfall.