Long Hair


Hunting season:

Once every year, the Deer catch human beings. They do various things which irresistibly draw men near them; each one selects a certain man. The Deer shoots the man, who is then compelled to skin it and carry its meat home and eat it. Then the Deer is inside the man. He waits and hides in there, but the man doesn't know it. When enough Deer have occupied enough men, they will strike all at once. The men who don't have Deer in them will also be taken by surprise, and everything will change some. This is called "takeover from inside."

            *                  *                  *

Deer trails:

Deer trails run on the side hills
            cross country access roads
            dirt ruts to bone-white
            board house ranches,
            tumbled down.

Waist high through manzanita,
Through sticky, prickly, crackling
            gold dry summer grass.

Deer trails lead to water,
Lead sidewise all ways
Narrowing down to one best path–
And split–
And fade away to nowhere.

Deer trails under freeways
            slip into cities
            swing back and forth in crops and orchards
            run up the sides of schools!

Deer spoor and crisscross dusty tracks
Are in the house: and coming out the walls:

And deer bound through my hair.


Gary Snyder, No Nature: New and Selected Poems, Pantheon Books, 1992.