It’s not about the shot
It’s about the journey

Every riverbank trail
Every cold clearing
That fades
Into forest

Fog lying low
Brisk noontime throe

Looking into the sky
Being stared back at
By abyssal

Why has this
Come to pass?

Looking back
At the
Mountain pass

Did these rocks and trees
Grow here to fear me?
Roots in the riverbeds
Turned to driftwood clay

This pass will know
My veiled face

Pathfinder’s tracks
In this place
Stay stratified
Where they’re made

Dug up dirt
Trembles before
This spirit
Of frostbite

Steps rift
Frozen soil

Eating away
At this wintry domain
In misted isolation
Alone in havoc action

Lungs shocked
By sub-zero air
Blood sluggish
Lashes shot

Each moment a panic
An otherworld

Each shot
A viscous copper
As the hills
Pass over me

Following the trail
Left behind
By my

Can see stoic moss
Trampled upon

Branches snapped
In haste

I will not make
Its same mistakes

Its blood on my blade
My bite will soon taste

The pass quivers again
Knowing I am here
I trespass, yet this
Mountain should fear

A spectre of cold blood
Floating over steps
Of a misnomer prey

An abyssal monster
The size of man

Stalking among
The overcast day



I stalked prey
Late at night
And just after dawn

They didn’t know me here
The hills, the sustain
The pain of the day

The rush of walking
In another’s shoes
In following the path

The risk associated with
Faking most days
In camouflage

Something that wouldn’t
Be suspicious, or wouldn’t
Stand out

Is it improper
To hunt without
Wearing your pith?

It’s the genetic survivalist
In me praising the brilliance
Of taking truth with a twist

Not lying
But telling half-truths
And leaving the rest behind

Left for dead
In the wastelands
Of time as I step forward

A falsehood
A prey in sight
A hunter in flight



I observe the forest laid out
Before me

Frozen over

After hours
Or maybe days
Of constant trekking
Across desolate terrain


Footsteps in the snow
Through bitter brambles

Over iced rivers
Leading me to here

A moment

Little clouds around ankles
In old handmade boots

Rifle drawn
Hand-laid stock notched
Scope sighted
Cheek beside the slide

Snow floats around my drawn hood
Eying through the spindly wood
A copse of thin dead trunks

My quarry
Timid and alert
Unaware of its pursuer

I follow from a slope above
Cold fabric numbs my legs

Arm flexed and arm extended
Poised and breaths slow

My aiming eye widens
Eyelashes stiff

Pupil awakens to compensate
And dialates to absorb
A contrasted background

Searching for the shadow
Out of place
Or the color that shouldn’t be
Between heartbeats

Drowning out
All the white noise
Dulling evergreens
And needless sound

Iris twitches

Hand and trigger finger

Goosebumps rise
Rogue tingles
Course up my spine

A moment

Narrow on the sight

Deciding now

A moment early to pull the trigger



I’ve been killed many times

Every time, I was the one who
Broke my own skin

Yet out of every claiming
Of my pelt

I’ve grown ever so more
Into this beastly thing

Every moment of triumph collected
And mounted, or stuffed
To feign natural behaviors

Hunting myself, so to speak

Hunting myself to extinction
Every new opening season