Here on the edge of the forest I pitched camp.
All night long in pleasant southern
By the moon's lightI listen to the call of a doe in heat.
To whom is she calling?
Somewhere the deer are hunted tonight.
Hunters entered the forest today.
I too seem to catch their scent,
As I lie here upon my
Not drowsy at
In this spring night.
Forest wonder everywhere,
An April breeze,
Like the taste of moonlight.
A doe in heat calls all night long.
Somewhere deep in the forest-beyond the reach of moonbeams-All stags hear her sounds.
They sense her presence,
Come toward her.
Now, in this night of
Their time for love arrives.
That sister of their
In moonlight calls them from forest cover-To quench their thirst-to smell-to savor!
As if this night's forest were free of tigers!
No clear fear fills those stags' breasts tonight,
Not even the shadow of uncertainty.
There is only thirst,
Perhaps wonder wakes in the cheetah's breast as well at the beauty ofthat doe's face.
In this springtide night.
Here is my nocturne.
One by one deer come from the wooded deep,
Leaving behind all water's sounds in search of another assurance.
Forgetting tooth and claw, they approach their sister
Beneath the sundari, bathed in moonlight.
As man draws near his salty woman, lured by scent, so come thosedeer.
I sense them-The sound of their many hooves.
In moonlight calls that doe in heat.
I can no longer sleep.
As I lie hereI hear gunshots.
Again I hear the sounding guns.
The doe in heat calls once more in the light of the moon.
As I lie fallen here aloneA weariness wells within my
While I listen to the sound of
And hear that doe's call.
Tomorrow she will return.
In the morning, by daylight, she can be seen.
Nearby lie her dead lovers.
Men have taught her all this.
I shall smell venison upon my dinner dish... .
Has not the eating of flesh ceased?… But why should it?
Why must I be pained to think of these deer-Am I not like them?on some spring nighton one of life's wondrous
Did not someone come into the moonlight, call me too, in the pleasantsouthern
Like that doe in heat?
My heart, a stag,
Forgetting the violence of this world,
All caution cast to the winds-all fear of the cheetah's eyes-Had not it yearned to possess you?
When, like those dead deer, the love in my
Lay caked with blood and
Did not you, like this doe, live
Through life's wondrous nightone spring night?
You too had learned from someone!
And we lie here, our flesh like that of dead animals.
All come, then fall in the face of separation-separation anddeath-Like those slain deer.
By living-loving-longing for love, we are hurt, we hate and die,
Do we not?
I hear the report of a double-barreled gun.
That doe in heat calls on.
No sleep comes to this heart of
As I lie here, alone.
Yet one must silently forget the thunder of those guns.
Night speaks of other things upon camp beds.
They by whose barrels deer perished tonight,
Who relished flesh and bone of deer upon their dinner plates,
They too are like you.
Their hearts too wither there in sleeping bags.
This pain, this love resides everywhere,
In the locust, the worm, in the breast of man,
In all the lives of us all.
Like those slain deer in spring's
Are we all.