Putting Food On The Table – Upland Game

gun dog with upland game

                                                                                   circa 1978

                          An homage to my hunting dog, Maisy. She was a delightful companion,

                                             a great friend, and a hunting dog par excellence.

                                            If we failed to get our limit, she was never at fault.


                 The Gun Dog

Naught equals the tang of autumn air

     Ere winter’s wind sets the leaves asail

Urging the gun dog with joyful ploy

     To seek the quarry, the wily quail.


Pursuing the search with tireless zest

     With vibrant tail, a staccato beat

Running gracefully with rhythmic style

     Scenting at last the covey’s retreat.


Immobile now is the gun dog’s stand

     Fixed are his eyes in a baleful stare

Thrilling the drum of fast beating wings

     The blur of speed in the morning air.


Reliving well in the minds of men

     Sharing full the dog’s endeavor

Prideful pleasure in the skillful find

     Past now the hunt, treasured forever.


Poem by Ralph Hammond

A Note About The Author: He was the Alabama Poet Laureate from 1992 – 1995. He was a two-term mayor of Arab, Alabama, and served under Gov. “Big Jim” Folsom as his chief of staff and press secretary. He was a prolific writer, has written many books of poetry, and is the author of this, my favorite poem. I contacted his son, Jim Hammond, a knife maker (iHEARTknives) in Birmingham, Alabama, and he graciously gave me permission to print his father’s poem.