April 2, 2020

ARLEEN PARÉ ON EARLE STREET AT THE POETRY PARTY

Arleen Paré writes from Victoria, BC: I chose this poem because it’s so currently Victoria, a small city where the deer, now prolific, have populated the city’s streets in just over 8 years. An urban population explosion. I wrote it after Steve Collis’ beautiful and serious poem called “Come the Revolution”. I hope the rather light-heartedness of “Come the Ungulate” does not even slightly affront Steve’s really striking and meaningful “Come the Revolution”, which everyone should read at least thrice.
Arleen Paré
Come the ungulate (from Earle Street)
                after Steve Collis’ “Come the Revolution” from To the Barricades

Come the ungulate    through the streets   the gates come the deer    they will on sidewalks
small groupings   come the doe and the fawn families come the buck    through the streets as 
if there were none they will complicate   five or six they thread through across ignoring 
the cross they will    intersections three fawn behind they will on the diagonal stop signs or 
stop lights    come the deer they will at their own laneways and boulevards ungulate they 
will regal   their pace they will slow through cars they will from the north they come 
problemate   laneways they will roads into backyards front yards they will graveyards in
the southern direction   as if preferring the young tops of short trees miniatures pear trees and 
cherry they will over fences   arrive come the roses prefer they will yellow and red 
recline the cemetery is two hundred years old they will   overlooking the ocean range until 
the ocean lie down as if no one lounge between headstones they are not ready to die    three 
buck they will ruminate consume come the deer out of campuses and government gardens 
come the deer come the people   the love come the hate under street lamps weave come the
park they will bend their dark shadowed necks under spliced overhead light   three deer on the 
grass flower beds and hedges antlers charcoal grey navy blue they will they could be 
three oversized hounds under the broken beam    stillness below the 3 am the window they 
will paying no attention as if no human population no houses they will their place come 
the doe buck come the fawn    come cougar hunger come evening the night

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