To submit poetry, type in the “comments” box below, then “submit.” Your poem will be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval, then posted. Or, you can send a document directly to the email address. ____________________________________________________________
Canis Lupus (for Kent Weber)
If you open your palms to the sky, arms halfway
outstretched, one might come to you if you are lucky.
And if you are lucky, you must not pull away
although it is human instinct. If one
comes to you, nipping at your forearm or nibbling
the twisted threads hung at your wrist,
remember the skin is foreign to clean
white teeth. Do not fully extend your arms or
pull them away. Do not turn your back or giggle
with nervousness when your fear sets in.
Because it will. If you are lucky, you must unlearn
what you have been taught about big ears and teeth
and breath that has no odor. When one comes to you
and the mouth opens directly in front of your nose
you will see into a darkness larger than your head.
Then, you must wait. If you are lucky and one comes to you,
you must not pull away. Instead , grab the neck
with both hands and pull the wide face closer to you.
There, you must look directly into the yellow eyes,
bear your teeth and allow the mouth larger than
the size of your head to nuzzle into your grimace.
You must keep your eyes open at all times
then, you will discover what it means to be wild.
often to our ears
the wolf’s howl
seems so mournful
at the other end of the valley, or
at the bottom of the hill
in our houses
at the dinner table
we can hear it echo
have you ever pretended
you were a wolf?
ran around shirtless &
barefoot, letting fierce cries
fly up at that
glittering orb in the sky?
we all cry in sadness
& in joy
RUGGED FREEDOM PAWS
Ain’t nothin’ better
than a Lao-Tzu Walkabout
With a flippin’ wolf pup known by the elders as
Whose thick primordial coat and silver heaven wings
*Dazzle* even the most agnostic disbeliever
Scrolling the very dirt with her rugged freedom paws
This deft timbre wolf strolls
Along an endless capillary, whittled waterway of the earth un-buried
Spoon of the jungle medicine-filled
Through subterranean vaults of spasm-less serendipity, branches of cilia
Zillions and zillions
of zig- -ging trails -zag-
Past handprints in the sludge and yellow eyes in the slashing afternoon sun
Following the unimaginable signs of an echo long ago
And a world impervious to only one
Anthony LiMuti, Jr.
somewhere a dog
is beaten, run
over somewhere, no
so many places cows
our being herded, fun
knelled, killed, predator
prey, prayer, meat
duck his head & long haired
face as not to bump full wolf moon so
low to earth this elevation above
seas moved by luna’s brightness played
in autoharp to peppermint
tea steam audience around lack of
Once, you were alpha,
standing tall and proud.
Once, they followed you,
your voice was strong and loud.
Like the wind you ran,
paws barely touching ground.
Like a bird you soared,
chasing prey without sound.
So beautiful to watch,
this creature quick and light.
Eyes filled with mystery
and passion for the flight.
What happened beautiful wolf,
what tragedy brought you down?
Were you chasing the wind,
with your pack close around?
In your dreams you still run,
alpha leader once again.
Other voices join with yours,
a chorus in the wind.
In my dreams you run free,
fast and smooth and light.
The song you sing is for me,
a song that echos in the night. Shari Jardina
~~Written for my wolf spirit Orca. Born in captivity at Wolf Park, Battle Ground, Indiana (1994-2009)
Going Out Of The City, I Encounter Wolf & The Dream She Inhabits
had a dream of wolf, flint-knapped teeth tearing
down the snowy woods not snarling, not snapping
a sinuous stare mostly silent into behind trees
we don’t talk about the tongues of predators
how they differ from our own, not political
in their blood-lick, no lies in their air-discernment
throw down a baby lamb, innocent veal calf
cut off the tall-gras, buzzcut the old growth
maybe we can talk about equity while we sip gravy
had a dream of wolf that was a soundscape
moist nature, passage of time, coevolution
a bus with tourists, chainsaws, four-wheelers
I dressed up a wolf, sat in a treestand & shot
a wolf, butchered a wolf, wept over a corpse
felt my blood tickle the wolf’s heart in transfusion
riding on a train, riding on the plain, the trees of ghosts
they say it’s unified, nothing gained or lost
the mirage of things lost, are they lost, of course
they’re gone really gone once they’re gone
let’s have a raffle, buy China-sewn wolves for prizes
sell corn dogs, frozen soda candy bar beef chips
we want wolves in our jumping castles at the kiddie party
we certainly want repeating rifles at the airport
we want date pills at communion, explosions at the abortion doctor’s office
yes to the whole tideflood of junk, we eat it all
bury the leavings & burn the grease
let the rats eat the dogs eat the cats eat the birds eat the grubs eat the seeds
in the dream I sat cross-knee’d in a played out rock mine
striking stones together to flake them into teeth shape
I burned sage & the rest of the hoary ritual that isn’t mine
I played local in my vision & meditated on cunning
on origins, on how things come into being:
how to prepare poisons into medicine
did plants & animals tell us these things? did we humans
know them somehow already – all this is different
at odds with ingredient lists & New Jersey food chemists
hunting & shepherding the flock, holyman shaman business
big business: motorcycles, sniper scopes, foreign takeover
in a post-sustenance landscape what checks our lurid control impulse
(the dream, what happens in the dream?) wolf is central symbolic metonymic
yet peripheral, elusive, a difficult-to-lobby-for agenda:
keep out modulated into: let me be, into the precept: do not kill
I am fashioning a wolf’s head, a whole pack of heads & killing teeth
cross-legged under the dawning sky painted blue
wolf’s eyes made of obsidian inscrutablilty, not ally, not opposed
in the dream I know how little I know
I have thumbs, they oppose, I am built for gain
wolf is out there, running parallel, going farther.
it could be wilt
metal that hangs
in center beats
that aren’t purple but harm
small hairs on insides
of your ears never
can be bent up straight
again the flowers
turn south to face
browning water open
their small mouths
to cherry wood i bought
you because no one
you i mean but give
to me it snows
on you the hills
on dullness beat
Below is a jpg image of Jack Collom’s poem. Click to enlarge. Click twice to magnify.
Biologists on the plateau
studying wolf incursions from Idaho
keep the name taboo alive –
‘visitors from the north’
they photograph pawprints collect scat
there’s message in urine marks
a parda grammatica
If I knew your real name
could read it off the rocks would you too
be anamika, Un-Named?
from the Arapaho Songbook
A poem written for one person can also
be for the world. Because
This sphere comprised of us two
or a leaf pressed in a notebook’s leaves
causes the entire forest to shed?
Thinking of him, you wander in and out
Of my secret; shut out even from daylight,
the window shades guard this dreamless
legend. To be perfectly clear, the dreaming
done in the past, has become
reality, we’re left only with
reality. OK, then, let’s walk around the
river that can’t be untangled. Let me go home
to my ancestors. They
walk uphill, walk downhill
Behind mountains are packs of wolves virgin forest
Zhang Er (translated by Martine Bellen)
from Because of Mountain
AN ACT for the Protection of Certain Metaphors
and the Correction of Others
I used to lift up my eyes unto the hills for help; and
Now when I look at their silhouettes against the sky,
the intricate lines that have evolved over millions of years
and are never the same from one day to the next,
I think of their brothers and sisters in the East
whose heads have been blown off by mining companies; and
Their guts have been ripped out and burned up in furnaces; and
Their skin and bones have been dumped into innocent streams; and
The mountains look vulnerable now, Samurai facing machine guns; and
No matter how much help I need, it’s hard to ask the hills for anything without feeling embarrassed; and
It’s time to repay them for all they have done for us throughout the millenia; and
Without them, we will perish too;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that:
1. Every valley shall be protected,
2. And every mountain and hill made whole,
3. The crooked safe,
4. And the rough places loved.
5. This act shall take effect immediately and remain in place forever and ever.
Ann Hunter 09-10 ________________________________________________________
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
Dear Secretary Salazar,
Here in your home
polls show the population
largely in favor of reintroducing
the Gray or Timber Wolf to our
mountains. I once wrote
that I hoped my children would live
to hear the wolf howl some day.
Word has it you are working to
remove the wolf from Federal protection
and hope shortly to delist it
from the Endangered Species Act.
This leaves as you know wolf
management in the hands
of ranching interests, and as a federal court
noted, does bypass proper scientific
study of whether the Northern
Rocky populations are viable.
I want to suggest
that should you remove
protection, and many of Idaho’s wolves
disappear under the guns of mid-level bureaucrats,
we request the Teton Lakota rename
their winter month ‘Moon when the
wolves used to run,’
and petition the Farmer’s Almanac
to delist January as Full Wolf Moon—
they could rename it Moon of
Aerial Gunning Moon
or Full Moon of the Rancher’s Lobby.
Thank you. Andrew Schelling
COLORADO WOLF DANCE SONG
Old Lefty of Burns Hole
Old Whitey of Bear Springs Mesa
Rags the Digger of Cathedral Bluffs
The Unaweep Wolf near Whitewater
Big Foot, west of DeBeque
The Phantom Wolf, outside Fruita
The Greenhorn Wolf of Butler Pasture
Three Toes of the Apishapa Andrew Schelling
Wolves gather on the other side of mountains.
1 canis lupus for each visible star – forming a constellation.
Feral howls shake pines:
x + (electrically-charged night)=wolf-energy
If we could harness this power, & sell it on Wall Street, wolves would be recognized as a valuable resource. Suzanne DuLany