Poem Hokkaido Hunter (Illustration by Yuko Kawabe)
The Hokkaido Hunter
Virgin snow, appearing from an indigo morning cloud, covers brown leaves. The ice crystals crunch under the hunter’s boot. He moves, only in stealth, as if he were being followed. A ghost deer with towering antlers cries out into the dawn silence. The hunter moves on; he is losing time. His eyes are as dense as the black holes that feed off of bodies of light. He puts the frozen lead into the chamber, the blue steel barrel reflects a solemn truth- we all meet our end, the bullet has already been fired and it is just a matter of time before it catches us.
A gentle breeze releases ice crystals that glitter like diamonds in a now stannous sunlight. Frozen steel, ice to the touch, is raised to eye level. A fox screams a terrific howl as the spring flings the cold lead slug forth from the chamber. The report’s boom bounces against the silver sky. The deer has fallen- its tapetum lucidum eyes have been sealed by lead.
All is balanced again as peace creeps back to the snow forest. It is just another day in the life of the Hokkaido hunter.