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The Archer

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Below is the poem entitled The Archer which was written by poet James Byrd. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Archer


I know you.  You walk in the mists of human memory.
You are the archer.... a traveler in time.
I saw your work one day.  In flint, a bit of symmetry.
Lost, or maybe discarded, a most eloquent mime.

I heard you.  I picked up the message you left me.
It was left unguarded and covered with dust.
For the ages it waited and the ages let it be
Until sweet rains washed away its clay crust.

I saw you.  You held the flint in your hand so cleverly
Striking at the right place and angle as you must.
'Though hidden in a rock, you knew what its shape would be
And brought it forth with tools and skill and trust.

Chip by chip you brought its form out of hiding.
Patient eyes checking and watching its formation,
While I could almost hear your voice confiding
With yourself in the joy of creation.

We had quite a conversation of life in unspoiled lands.
Of ability, talent, diligence, and care
And the shared pride of things made with our hands.
A communion of craftsmen through a gift so rare.

And then to the hunt... with the things you so carefully made.
Stalking... waiting...  the ancient dance of hunter and prey.
Raising the bow and whispering to the arrow how its role should be played
Then waiting for the moment when it is set on its way.

An unflinching mind telling sinews at strain and muscles in pain
That this is the highest plane of being.
The image of the quarry locked lovingly in the brain
As fingers loosen their hard caress of the bowstring.

Then wood springs, regaining its form and grace
And Death goes flying to meet the fleeing hind.
In another time and another place
The arrow, the deer, and the archer's wish combined.

I know you.  You walk through the mists of our memory.
You are the archer.... a traveler in time.
I saw your work one day. An arrowpoint, a bit of symmetry.
Lost, or discarded, a most eloquent mime.

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  1. Date: 2/17/2009 5:37:00 AM
    Most excellent and novel concept well drawn for the minds eye. I longed for a more constant pattern of meter, yet I wouldn't have missed the story..to get it (a reinforced meter..of your chioce..even if you move out of it for the climax or the ending would make this even stronger) Light & Love Debbie PS Make the archers seat/chair talk for me? The Chairs Tale contest

  1. Date: 2/16/2009 1:36:00 PM
    James, you have a great gift for creating vivid images. Love this poem! Carolyn

  1. Date: 2/16/2009 7:18:00 AM
    You have the abililty to take a person to where you'd like them to go. I love to look for arrow heads though have rarely found any. Your words are rich James. Laurie