Revision of The Doe

Doe (istock photo)

Following some really helpful comments on this poem when I posted it for One Shot Wednesday, I have slightly revised it. I would love to hear whether I have improved it, made it worse or just not made any discernible difference at all!

The Doe

No horizon,
Low clouds meld
With stricken meadow,
Silver birch, tarnished streaks
In blasted landscape. Field levelled
By frost –  thick as snow.

Single tracks criss-cross
Into tangled thicket. Bramble coils –
Threaded, razored blockade beneath
Willow whips, birch withies
Flex in windswept time with
Blasted, beech.
Follow that single track upwind.
Stand sentinel by thorny barricade.


Wad of desiccated leaves,
Fawn and lifeless – trace it with your eye.
Move just your eye. Follow
Gentle curve to cream oval tuft –
back again. Look beyond
Skeins of khaki stalks.
Sketch dark, damp stone.
See it twitch? Be still, be silent –

She knows you’re here.

Watch her ears,
Furred sienna trumpets, raise,
Twist to trap the scratch
Of your breath. You will
Not keep her. Be ready. The doe will
Rise and run in one smooth
Fluid move, breach the bramble barrier,
Duck under scrabbling branches,
Leap and zig and bound
And zag and rise over
Hedge, ditch, fence – alluring,
Graceful,   then


With single bark, hoarse echoing warning,
She’ll blend her winter, biscuit- beige body
Tidily,     quietly       with




About SallyJ

I am a writer and a poet.
This entry was posted in editing works in progress, garden, natural world, poetry, Uncategorized, wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Revision of The Doe

  1. Sandra says:

    Lovely. I think it is perfect now – from the description of the doe to the way you make the reader hold their breath in anticipation of what’s going to happen next. The words you use make the reader hear the silence in which the encounter takes place.

  2. SallyJ says:

    Thank you Sandra – I am happier with it now.

  3. kez says:

    never read the original but I think this is beautiful and I feel as if I’m almost with you .it .gives me such an adrenalin rush when I think I maybe the only human witnessing that moment …thank you

  4. knightsheart says:

    I like the revision. It seems clearer to me. I felt the rush of wonder as to what the Doe’s next move was. I liked the feel of motion in the poem. Looking around, finding the doe, seeing her react….

  5. What I dig about this poem is that I feel like I’m the deer, and that I’m running through nature, and then all of a sudden at “Stop” and “Frozen…Fallow…Field,” I’m wary of someone watching me. I notice the speaker, and there is a neat connection between poet, subject and reader.

    Good work! 😀

    • SallyJ says:

      thank you Matt..what is interesting is that when I started to write it, it was about the viewer and it changed over time and with editing.

  6. hedgewitch says:

    I took a peek at the original just now and I think this is definitely tighter. It’s a vivid piece, very descriptive, and the minimizing helps the focus. That said, your first ending was cleaner, in my opinion, and less choppy. But I’m not a fan of critique, so feel free to pay no mind. ;_) I hate it when people rethink my own poems, and I applaud your courage in actually asking them to.

    • SallyJ says:

      Thank you for this. I am always open to feedback and critique…Especially after
      i walk away from it for awhile. I see what you mean about choppiness. I will sleep on it and revisit tomorrow.
      Thanks for comparing the two and for your comments,

  7. jay2 says:

    I think it is tighter Sally but without comparing line for line, it doesn’t seem noticeably different.

  8. brian says:

    nicely done i remember your poem from the other day and i like how you have swisseled it a bit…i ama fan ofcritique myself honestly…i still choose to take it or leave it but i like seeing how other envision it…well played sally

  9. I love it, if you work somthing too much you can lose the inspiration that birthed it. It reads beatifully out loud. I hear your voice loud and clear. Great job. Nice meeting you in a blog-type of way.

    • SallyJ says:

      You too Henry. Overworking is something I have to remind myself about – often. I am an inveterate fiddler! Thank you for your kind words.

  10. Your images, metaphors and word choices are brilliant. Enjoyed it very much, Sally.

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