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.