10 Ways of Looking at a Hare

The idea was taken from ‘13 ways of looking at a blackbird’, by Wallace Stevens. The 10 sketches were drawn on the iPad and watercoloured.


10 ways of looking at a hare


Up the Hare Walk

to a brown field, a brown hare

lying low, raising a chiselled snout

above a parapet of early wheat.

We choose our own quest.



Pale as bleached bone

in a saint’s reliquary –

numinous. We want to touch,

to believe in it.



The eye of the moon is the

glint of the hare

just as ethereal

his sideways look, startled,

his roving lighthouse stare.



Leaping over the dry-stone wall.

A question in that canny eye

‘See me on my dusk run?’

tacking across the wave

of green shoots.



When their blood is up

they are Irish in a brogue of fisticuffs

and furry breeches.

March weather has its uncertainties,

a hare’s eye turns one season at a time.



His winter totem

white, sacred, rare.

Furtive as the arctic fox,

brisk as the snow wolf –

the Snowshoe hare.



The dancing hare, a dandy

in his drab frock-coat,

tunes in – one ear glows red

catching the light,

the other a furry

exclamation mark.



Between earth-lore and mystery

is the eccentric hare,

whose expressive ears lie flat,

waiting that moment of madness.



Look, he says, I know what it is

to be the wilderness,

the lifeguard of a landscape

and to inhabit it

under the wheeling sky.



The hare has the heart of an Olympian,

sprinter, boxer, courser,

high jumper, track and fielder,

tumbling like a stone.

Then curled like an ammonite,

feral and fossil together.



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