How to See Deer

Philip Booth

Forget roadside crossings.
Go nowhere with guns.
Go elsewhere your own way,
lonely and wanting. Or
stay and be early:
next to deep woods
inhabit old orchards.
All clearings promise.
Sunrise is good,
and fog before sun.
Expect nothing always;
find your luck slowly.
Wait out the windfall.
Take your good time
to learn to read ferns;
make like a turtle:
downhill toward slow water.
Instructed by heron,
drink the pure silence.
Be compassed by wind.
If you quiver like aspen
trust your quick nature:
let your ear teach you
which way to listen.
You've come to assume
protective color; now
colors reform to
new shapes in your eye.
You've learned by now
to wait without waiting;
as if it were dusk
look into light falling:
in deep relief
things even out. Be
careless of nothing. See
what you see.
"How to See Deer," from Lifelines by Philip Booth, copyright © 1999 by Philip Booth. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Poems by This Author

Nightsong by Philip Booth
Beside you
Saying It by Philip Booth
Saying it. Trying

Further Reading

Poems about Deer
Deer Dancer
by Joy Harjo
Deer Hit
by Jon Loomis
Deer, 6:00 AM
by Sarah Getty
Earthy Anecdote
by Wallace Stevens
The City of God
by David Baker
The Supple Deer
by Jane Hirshfield
Winter Study
by Mark Wunderlich
Poems about Anonymity and Loneliness
"My True Love Hath My Heart and I Have His"
by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
by Joachim du Bellay
Don't Let Me Be Lonely [There was a time]
by Claudia Rankine
Acts of Mind
by Catherine Barnett
by Maya Angelou
Alone for a Week
by Jane Kenyon
Angel of Duluth [excerpt]
by Madelon Sprengnether
At a Window
by Carl Sandburg
Beyond the Pane
by Greg Hewett
by Aaron Smith
Danse Russe
by William Carlos Williams
Dear Lonely Animal,
by Oni Buchanan
Demeter in Paris
by Meghan O'Rourke
Donal Óg
by Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory
Drawing from Life
by Reginald Shepherd
Eating Alone
by Li-Young Lee
Found Poem
by Howard Nemerov
by Philip Levine
How I Am
by Jason Shinder
How the mind works still to be sure
by Jennifer Denrow
I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
by Rainer Maria Rilke
I Am!
by John Clare
I'm Nobody! Who are you? (260)
by Emily Dickinson
Isolation: To Marguerite
by Matthew Arnold
by Trumbull Stickney
by Trumbull Stickney
by Ernest Hemingway
Mountain Pines
by Robinson Jeffers
by Glyn Maxwell
Ode to Solitude
by Alexander Pope
On the Terrace
by Landis Everson
R.I.P., My Love
by Tory Dent
by Michael Ryan
Skunk Hour
by Robert Lowell
Song of Myself
by John Canaday
Song of Quietness
by Robinson Jeffers
Sonnet V
by Mahmoud Darwish
by Edith Franklin Wyatt
The Creation
by James Weldon Johnson
The Daffodils
by William Wordsworth
The Hermit Goes Up Attic
by Maxine Kumin
The Living Beauty
by W. B. Yeats
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T. S. Eliot
The Sleepers
by Walt Whitman
The Suicide
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
the suicide kid
by Charles Bukowski
The Whole World Is Gone
by Jennifer Grotz
This Is a Photograph of Me
by Margaret Atwood
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
by Sarah Gambito
by Kenneth Patchen
White Days
by Priscilla Becker
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
by Walt Whitman
Why Is the Color of Snow?
by Brenda Shaughnessy
Your Catfish Friend
by Richard Brautigan