For the hunt is dead

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The Hunt is Dead

There have been signs, omens and patient rituals –
the time is right, the moment is true.
Stirred by the crumbling words of the elders,
The hunters paint themselves ghostly colourful
As they gather their spirits and ready their bodies.
A darkly furrowed brow, beading sweat,
a weather-beaten hand traces un-tamed tracks in the wet dirt.
Something beautiful, something terrible, but necessary
Is about to happen.
The diaphragm draws in the humid air, keeping the chest tight
And the mind hovering, light and sharp
As muscle and sinew strain, drawing the string close to a mottled face
The arrow whips forth through the undergrowth
Its deadly path masked by all the ambience of rainforest life
Until it strikes its mark.
The hunter nods slowly, acknowledging the forest’s benefaction
And its unflinching sacrifice.

She too reads the symbols and signs that point the way
As her hand runs along the regimented lines
Among the columns and orderly rows
Nothing evades her, nothing stirs
Except the others like her
Plucking their marks from their
Dumb perches.
Untold years of knowledge, once deep instincts,
Now deposed, deformed and displaced
By an unseen council of charlatans.
A disembodied, disenchanted voice on high
Calls out and hails portents and offerings,
Directing those without honour, courage or humility
To their plastic heart’s desires,
Where the cages are emptied
and the trophies are counted.

Long live the hunter,
For the hunt is dead.