Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Bull Moose

by Alden Nowlan

Down from the purple mist of trees on the mountain,
lurching through forests of white spruce and cedar,
stumbling through tamarack swamps,
came the bull moose
to be stopped at last by a pole-fenced pasture.

Too tired to turn or, perhaps, aware
there was no place left to go, he stood with the cattle.
They, scenting the musk of death, seeing his great head
like the ritual mask of a blood god, moved to the other end
of the field, and waited.

The neighbors heard of it, and by afternoon
cars lined the road. The children teased him
with alder switches and he gazed at them
like an old, tolerant collie. The women asked
if he could have escaped from a Fair.

The oldest man in the parish remembered seeing
a gelded moose yoked with an ox for plowing.
The young men snickered and tried to pour beer
down his throat, while their girl friends took their pictures.

And the bull moose let them stroke his tick-ravaged flanks,
let them pry open his jaws with bottles, let a giggling girl
plant a little purple cap
of thistles on his head.

When the wardens came, everyone agreed it was a shame
to shoot anything so shaggy and cuddlesome.
He looked like the kind of pet
women put to bed with their sons.

So they held their fire. But just as the sun dropped in the river
the bull moose gathered his strength
like a scaffold king, straightened and lifted his horns
so that even the wardens backed away as they raised their rifles.
When he roared, people ran to their cars. All the young men
leaned on their automobile horns as he toppled.

"The Bull Moose" by Alden Nowlan, from What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread. © Thousands Press, 2000


Error in printing last posting noted:

The Google blogger mechanism moved the right margin on a section of the text too far to the right, and rendered it partially unreadable.

Here, then, is the section in corrected form. (Also, I regret my proof-reading did not catch the misspelled 'beet' that should have read 'beer'.)

There are places I'll remember

All my life, though some have changed

Some forever, not for better

Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I'll love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I'll love you more (lyric by Jose)

Dee informs methere are some Congregational Church

Holiday Sampler booklets found

on the church premises

that will be put out on the harvest table

for people to pick up and enjoy

-maybe leave a small contribution -or to just take.

The names of the recipe givers are noteworthy.

'Some are deadand some are living.......'

And the Utube clip again was: