The Chase

The hunt had ended

Once the conceit of the cornets had ceased

The shrill staccato of French horns

Silenced by the day’s defeats

As had the deeply throated howls

From a once-frenzied pack of hounds

Joyless from the journey’s futilities

A parade of downtrodden canine

In languid retreat

Their consolations culling in the faint outline

Of ‘home sweet home’, on the horizon

The palatial seemed to convalesce

In deadened banks of perpetual fog

Adorned in a vain menagerie of topiaries

With their pristine edges

The endless mazes of hedge

Complicit in the bewilderment

Elicited from their own dead ends

Avid accomplices of promiscuous kisses

The pedigrees dispersed just beyond the threshold

Of a great Tudor courtyard

The atmosphere reminiscent

Of winters spent in purgatory

Aloof as they retired

In the austere shadows of turrets

Their masters’ were not far behind

All the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men

Soon come back again

Shepherding themselves with barren expressions

A conservative procession

Mezzanine saddle sat

In hues of slate and bright scarlet mackinaw

Leather riding boots unmuddied

A calvary of self professed genteel

Fermenting in their privilege

Crusaders fed from silver spoons

Their search for the ark of the covenant

In the tails of copper brush, called off

Thin-lipped prayers recited, for not

Sincere hopes for archaic carnage

All but forsaken by Artemis

Unamused with their stoic egotism

The baritone murmuring ebbed

On the last leg

Their long, pale fingers

Still clung in clenched fists

To the riding crops they’d flung

Haphazardly in pursuit of the Fox

Soon they’d be smoking pipes

Snifting the finest of brandy

From expensive crystal

Their barbaric traditions shelved

With an inheritance of ornate rifles

As moths would take to the skies

To waltz on the benedictions

Of a full moon

Occasionally making love

On damp mattresses of peat moss

But what of the fox?

What became of she?

Sulphuric eyes alight with intellect

The vermillion vixen

In brevity, pleased with her victories

Prowling the banks of errant streams

As if announcing herself to the night

A creature of deep convictions

A molten mother of kits

Her wisdoms potent

An inate sensuality deeply ingrained

In graceful flashes of sorrel

She would not be tamed

Nor slaughtered

For the misguided sport of man

Still, in the haste of a sunrise return

In the staggering silence

Of an August den

The fox knew she felt most alive

Most vital, during the chase

a. duncan, 2019



Photography: Alexandra Bochkareva









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Amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus || Love is rich with both honey and venom

3 thoughts on “The Chase

  1. This was beautifully vivid – can totally see why the vixen is your spirit animal! 😀 You transport the reader into a living breathing world & keep us rooting for the vixen to triumph against the hunters. A wonderful tribute to foxes! 🦊

    Liked by 1 person

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