Deer fascinate me, and sighting them is always magical, maybe because they move so effortlessly, compared to us.
Here are two deer poems, “Levitation” and “White Deer Chirascuro.”
Chirascuro is an Italian term for high contrast paintings, where black background emphasizes the light.
The psychic says ghosts float
above ground. When deer waver
in sunrise fog over asphalt,
I believe. Front-on, only ears show
but sideways, slanting northward,
full bodies appear—soft-tan fur,
solid torsos, brown cherub eyes.
They move obliquely in pale light.
They could fall to curbs but veer
to cedars. Hooves never touch
as I plod behind them, earthen,
lost in gravity and night glum when
silver shimmers in pink roses
glitter mist fills air and they rise.
White Deer Chiaroscuro
That pocket of night between
midnight and dawn, witching hour,
early for crepuscular deer
yet two bask in moonlight,
almost tangible beyond glass.
They float closer to each other,
symmetrical garden statues
halting time in this eerie tale,
black nose to black nose,
large-eared blocky does,
backlit in a landscape shot.
Unmoving, they turn smaller,
reposition downhill, camouflage
with others in junipers. Look,
Father’s death mask glows,
in shadows, but no,
it’s a white deer, another,
albinos separating from night,
specters in a tableau as real
as the dead walking among us.
Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, is author of over twenty-five books of poetry and prose. Forward Reviews writes of her new memoir The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival: “An accomplished poet, Low’s well-honed prose flows with lyric intensity.” She teaches professional workshops and classes for Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies. She has won three Kansas Notable Book Awards and has recognition from Seaton Prize, Pami Jurassi Bush Award of the Academy of American Poets, Roberts Prize, and the Lichtor Poetry Prize. Low has an MFA (Wichita State U.) and Ph.D. (Kansas U.).
FOOD FRIDAY RECIPE
Two Deer -- Ah yes, cooking Bambi
Once my sister-in-law sauteed fresh deer loin in butter until browned on both sides but rare in the middle. With a little salt and pepper, this is the gourmet venison experience. For stew meat, what we usually have, I like to use a crock pot, add 4 whole turnips, 6 carrots, 2 peeled onions (cut in half), 1 can beef stock, and a pound of stew meat scraps. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Low and slow makes it all tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
4 whole turnips
2 peeled onions (cut in half)
1 can beef stock
1 pound of stew meat scraps
Add to a slow roaster, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on low setting for 5-6 hours, until tender.