The Morning Shoot

Icy breath, on a cold November morn,
as thick as smoke, from a mouth that’s warm.
The sunlight glistens on the frosted bales,
no fear today, of winters stormy gales.

The grass it crunches, when flattened by boots,
fingers feeling numb, with toes following suit.
Diesel fumes drift, polluting the winter air,
more vehicles arrive, bringing people wanting their share.

Hip flasks are opened, for the pre shoot nip,
my Rum warms me up, even with just a small sip.
We then take our places, ready for the first bird,
and silence reigns, you cant hear a word.

Both barrels are loaded, all guns are cocked,
anticipation abounds before the first shot.
My ammo bag full, Im raising my gun,
I’m feeling my fingers, in the now warming sun.

The beaters are moving, I can hear their shouts,
the dogs get excited, and running about.
Then out from the shrub, the first bird appears,
it takes to the air, I see it so clear.

Closer and closer, the pheasant flies,
my shotgun is raised, level to my eye.
It’s in my sights, I let both barrels go,
it drops to the ground, and my adrenalin flows.

All guns are blazing, and smoke fills the air,
the smell of gunpowder, sometimes to much to bear.
The dogs running round, and retrieving the kill,
with the birds in their mouths, you call them to heel.

I reload my gun, as more birds take flight,
and a nice plump Partridge comes into my sight.
When the smoke clears, I see how I’ve done,
Another clean hit and one to take home.

With both barrels loaded, I again raise my gun,
this time it’s a Woodcock, I must get this one.
Its rising fast, and erratic in flight,
But bright sun and smoke are not good for your sight.

Squeezing my trigger, getting ready to fire,
I’m feeling cold, and beginning to tire.
My eyes are blurred through all the strain,
I miss this one, It lives another day.

The beaters are quiet, their job has been done,
I gather my birds, in the cold midday sun,
The guns are now silent, as we start to drift away,
I have my dinner, for Christmas and Boxing day.

Copyright © Richard Veal. Feb 18th 2010.

Not what you might think.

This is about life in the country and what has been going on for a long long time.
Picture the scene in your mind while reading it.
It could be anywhere in the country.

Please Note.
I am not here to condone OR condemn hunting.


  • BCImages
    BCImagesabout 5 years ago

    well Mr Veal that is very very good to say the least

  • Many thanks Steve.
    Glad you like it.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Irene  Burdell
    Irene Burdellabout 5 years ago

    Excellent poetry and subject , another string to your bow .Well done xx

  • Thank you Irene.
    Having 2 estates very near to where we live, I get to know a lot about the subject in hand, as well as hering the guns go off during the season.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Thank you for the fave also Irene.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...about 5 years ago

    This is amazing work dear, just had to comment.hugs.x

  • Many thanks Catherine, and for the fave also.
    Always appreciated.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Anna Shaw
    Anna Shawabout 5 years ago

    Oh well done dear Richard, this is so good. I can feel the cold morning and the tension. When I started to read it, I thought it was going to be about photography!!! LOL. Wonderful work.

  • LOL.
    I thought that it will catch a few out.
    Many thanks Anna, for the lovely comment.
    Glad you like it.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Edward Denyer
    Edward Denyerabout 5 years ago

    And sore shoulder to remind you of how you came by your dinner Richard. Been there, done that!! Nice prose well put together. – Ted

  • Many thanks Ted.
    Yes, I forgot about that bit.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Magee
    Mageeabout 5 years ago

    I had no idea you were so mulit-talented Richard! lolol! I thoroughly enjoyed that! Well done!! :-))

  • Hi Robyn.
    Many thanks for the comment and compliment.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • reflexio
    reflexioabout 5 years ago

    wow, Rich, you have revealed an artistic side I did not expect. Excellent.

  • Many thanks John.
    A lovely comment my friend.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Twisted01
    Twisted01about 5 years ago

    A man of many talents sir. Well done indeed :)) Great poetry

  • Many thanks Jay.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Sharon A. Henson
    Sharon A. Hensonabout 5 years ago

    Yes….a man of many talents I like this a lot…bring on some more sir….

  • Thank you Sharon. Very kind of you to say so.
    Could you feel the cold and smell the smoking guns? :-))

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

  • Sharon A. Henson
    Sharon A. Hensonabout 5 years ago

    I sure could….we owned 7 acres of land in Connecticut when we were young and we would skeet shooting,rabbit,and woodchuck hunting. I enjoyed it very much….

  • There are 2 big estates near us, and you can hear them when shooting season is on.

    – Richard Hamilton-Veal

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