Hunting in February

I’m hunting this morning
with the eye and the ear
not the gun.
I’m out to catch the sun

in icy ditches.
I’m tracking two nuthatches
avoiding me
tree after tree.

I peer in each pond,
scan each path
for signs
of wakening earth.

I watch on a fence-post
a dozing hawk
ignoring a crow’s
scold and scrawk,

hear frogs creak
their old hosannas
from the melting pond’s
slimy saunas,

catch a glimpse
at the Rother’s edge
of grayling sunning
under Shopham bridge.

Eye and ear
are the gear to use
for throwing over creatures
the mind’s noose.

You’ll only ever
hold in the heart’s
keepnet the glitter
of sudden kingfisher,

or the clear glance
the fox gives you
paused at the lane’s
edge in rain;

you need no weapon
to bag a fine pheasant
or stalk the heron
at the pond’s rim,

or snare the shadows
clouds pull
across the fields
under Duncton Hill.

Copyright: from Stargrazer (Hodder, 1997), © Robert Hull 1997, used by permission of the author

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Robert’s poems represent a wide range of themes and forms, including re-telling stories from his family history and even going back to ...

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About Hunting in February

It's February, and I'm wandering in the countryside seeing things, and the poem is called 'Hunting in February'

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