October 3, 2020

The Monarch of The Glen

The Monarch of The Glen

So regal
such raw, femoral strength
holding him stiffly
as he sniffs the cool air
no doubt he senses the artist

poised there, capturing him
as he decides
whether to fight or flee
If I were him I would go,
that’s what I do
run as fast as I could
away from impending danger

but he stands his ground

in that moment
I am not in the gallery
but rather there in the wild
beside him
absorbed, by the damp smell
of decaying leaves, thick mud and wild animal

If I look closely I see the movement of his chest
I feel his body breathing
in time with mine
Hot air escapes with each breath
soft leaves crunch beneath my feet
I want to stay here forever,
lost yet free

There is such power there
I am sure
in that, the briefest of moments
the whole world belongs to him

The Monarch of the Glen is an oil-on-canvas painting of a red deer stag completed in 1851 by the English painter Sir Edwin Landseer. It can be found in The Scottish National Gallery.