Alden Nowlan
Stanley, Nova Scotia

The Bull Moose

Rating: 3.5
Down from the purple mist of trees on the mountain,
lurching through forests of white spruce and cedar,
stumbling through tamarack swamps,
came the bull moose
to be stopped at last by a pole-fenced pasture.

Too tired to turn or, perhaps, aware
there was no place left to go, he stood with the cattle.
They, scenting the musk of death, seeing his great head
like the ritual mask of a blood god, moved to the other end
of the field, and waited.

The neighbours heard of it, and by afternoon
cars lined the road. The children teased him
with alder switches and he gazed at them
like an old, tolerant collie. The woman asked
if he could have escaped from a Fair.

The oldest man in the parish remembered seeing
a gelded moose yoked with an ox for plowing.
The young men snickered and tried to pour beer
down his throat, while their girl friends took their pictures.

And the bull moose let them stroke his tick-ravaged flanks,
let them pry open his jaws with bottles, let a giggling girl
plant a little purple cap
of thistles on his head.

When the wardens came, everyone agreed it was a shame
to shoot anything so shaggy and cuddlesome.
He looked like the kind of pet
women put to bed with their sons.

So they held their fire. But just as the sun dropped in the river
the bull moose gathered his strength
like a scaffolded king, straightened and lifted his horns
so that even the wardens backed away as they raised their rifles.

When he roared, people ran to their cars. All the young men
leaned on their automobile horns as he toppled.

Submitted by cutebabystar
Ramesh T A 26 March 2020
Apt poem on bull fight being selected as Modern Poem of the Day by PH! Congrats to the Poet!
0 0 Reply
Francie Lynch 26 March 2020
Reminds me of the revellers on the beaches in Florida during this crisis. They too want to shoot we bull moose with covid bullets.
1 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 26 March 2020
A beautiful story is lying behind this beautiful poem composed by Alden Nowlan.
0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 26 March 2020
When he roared, people ran to their cars. All the young men leaned on their automobile horns as he toppled. a fine poem.tony
1 0 Reply
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0 3 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 26 March 2019
A beautiful story poem reminding to some extent the story of the taming of the bull. Congrats on well deserved modern poem of the Day.
1 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 26 March 2019
superb poetic expression............................
0 0 Reply
doug scotney 26 March 2019
Instead of going down with a grunt, going down with a bellow
1 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 26 March 2019
The purple mist! ! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
1 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 26 March 2019
This poem is beautifully written. So impressive and moving.
0 0 Reply

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