Treasure Island

Alden Nowlan

(25 January 1933 - 27 June 1983 / Stanley, Nova Scotia)

The Bull Moose


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

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: purple, girl, women, strength, river, woman, children, fire, people, death, sun, god, car, child, friend, tree, running, son, remember

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Bull Moose by Alden Nowlan )

Enter the verification code :

  • Matthew P (12/1/2004 9:24:00 PM)

    This is an absolutely brilliant poem. Symbolism is obvious... just in the first line- down, meaning that he has come from 'up' or power, then purple, which symbolizes royalty, purple mist- somewhat magical.Truely an astounding poem. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Forced To Live Within Their Means, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  2. That Bold Hold, V P Mahur
  3. I'ts Not a Sin to Love You Like This..., wanderer sailor
  4. Psalm 096, Forrest Hainline
  5. Slaves To Appearances, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  6. Changes Can Be Painful, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  7. Rain Affects Incident Light, mary douglas
  8. Maypole Dancing Dulcet As Spring, mary douglas
  9. Wish to Say Something, V P Mahur
  10. Nuclear Love, Monk E. Biz

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]