Poetry and Pictures from the Yorkshire Dales by Alan Hartley

dales poetry headerPhotograph ©David Tarn

Hunter's Moon

hunters-moon.jpgMichael HartleyThe cries of curlew on a distant hill
Call us to join the creatures of the night,
Creeping in shadows cut by a clear moon.
We must go soon, for we have far to go
To meet with those who keep from sight
Of man, and dread his burning lust to kill.

Now open wide the cage of decoy crow,
For days held starving captive there.
Now cut the wire noose of hidden snare.
Now spring the gin that's set to maim the hare.
Now find the poacher's line and steal his hook.
Now mimic vixen's scream to lure the fox
Away from lampers by the brook.
Now smash the stakes that bar the holt.
Now bury deep the poison bait.
Now loose the trap that holds the stoat.
Now seek the men who dig the set
To cheat them of their evil sport.

We must make haste, for we have much to do
While others sleep and there is perfect light
For Devil's work to be revealed.
But first, we thank the spirits who
Watch over stream and wood and field,
For giving us a hunter's moon tonight.