Poaching in Soft Moonlit Rain (1952)

Boy and bitch move softly
through the mizzly August night,
following the field's edge
to avoid the moonlit stubble,
shadowed by a man and dog
across the midnight ground.

Yet too noisy for the hare,
crouching in its form between reaped rows,
who hears then scents the lurcher's presence
and driven by an overpowering fear
breaks cover on the levelled field.
Does always circle
but this straight flight's a Buck,
a low blur of movement tracked by the pounding bitch
who herds him to a screaming death
in her silent mate's teeth
loosed at last minute from the shadow’s safety.

A soft mouthed kill
with little blood to smear the pelt.
The dogs not easy to recall
excited by success they dart and weave
heedless of the coming storm.

Ivor Murrell

If you have any comments on this poem, Ivor Murrell would be pleased to hear them.