The elk burst through the mountain stream at a full run:
exploded it's cold waters into a million bright slivers
and emerged through the cloud
to stand deliberately upon the stony shore.
He raised his ancient horns like
a crown of spears and called out.
He shivered and his hooves tore at the sodden earth briefly
then he began to run at odds to the rude beach
into the primordial forest where immense, moss-laden trees
gathered to move their arching branches against their neighbors branches
and to deliberate over the urgency of the great elks passing
and the quick excitement of his limbs as they drove him
beneath the trees.
The elk leaped a ravine and wove through
a stand of saplings before halting once again
to call hoarsely and to drag in a dozen scorching breaths:
His giant head was wreathed in fog, his sides were slick with sweat
and around him all the voices of the forest stopped and all the leaves
ceased their movement and the wind was a mere whisperer among the trees
and the day was as still as the inside of a stone.
The elk turned to gaze at a crane that had risen out of the marsh by the river;
He watched as the noble bird mounted the shivering air on wings that seemed to
embrace the sky and the earth and the whole of creation, then
the sun disappeared behind a cloud;
The hunter released his arrow;
Crimson flowers blossomed in the snow.