Hunger like the flat of the hand.
Stillness in many families, dry breasts.
We have moved so often
We have broadened the world.
Our instruments are foreign in this land
We believe the game rumored
To be abundant here will not know
Our intent, will marvel more than fear.
When there is nothing,
We go further, dragging our lives
In bundles behind us, leaving
Our dead as deep in frozen ground
As our understanding can dig. The dead
will be our way back: each
Campsite failure marked, each
Sullenly passed night stale
From cold fire and rotten grain and
Our lack of dancing a marker
for some predator more successful than we,
Some predator still of sinew and self-interest.
I sing my ancestral song
And ahead at the nearest rise
A lone buck gazes back, an answer
Leading us new world to new world,
Deeper into his debt. It is this shadow
I hunt, where in this rapacious land
I must kill first this beast, his
Ghost herd, this hope, our trespass.
His land must be our land.

About the Poet

Ken Poyner divides his time between being an Information Systems manager, eye-candy at his wife's power lifting meets, and an on-again, off-again writer of whatever troubles him at the moment. He has had work in places from Poet Lore to Silver Blade, to Fleeting, Corium, Menacing Hedge, Full of Crow, Emprise Review, and about 70 other places. He has been pestering the public with his writings since the mid 70s.