Wolf

WOLF

Cry in the night

A wavering yearning wail

Remembered

The pack all know their part

The smell of sickening deer

Bloods their comradeship

Torn flesh is life

Wolf dreams the voices in the leaves

The running of a long-lost mate

The tumbling play of cubs and then

Midwinter snowlock, icy breath

Fairytale devil

Hiding in homely things

Better to eat you, dear

Ravenous, clever

A chalice for our wish to kill

For rape and for rebellion

To turn the world right upside down,

Of chaos, and the homeland’s milk

Of law and lace for all time spilt

Wolves ride our dreams

In each dark wood

A half-remembered beast

Down each sharp slope

They wait, or wander like the wind

To fall on anywhere they wish;

The fearful grope

Of climber on the alp falls short

Because the wolf waits just beyond

But at his fall the wolf will stand

And soon have sport

A child is missing

Sheep are torn

A travelling brother never comes

Folk knew the wolf must be the cause

So hunted it with dog and gun

Until one lonely wolf was left

Searching for any of its kind

Into a trap and hung to rot

So who had killed the lost child now?

Some human wolves must roam the night

And must be burnt to break the curse

To wolves the random rage of men

Is like a maddened hurricane

That picks this up and sets this down

Safety and death in hands of clown

That wail again: no devils of dream

Unearthly through the forest stream,

But wolfpack hunting in the night

And not a tiger burning bright.

The layout of this poem elsewhere reflects the fact that there are two voices – one describing the wolf,’s experience,  the other representing human fears and images of wolves, the wolf as symbol and devil. Unfortunately wordpress won’t let me indent the verses as they should be! So the human image of the wolf bit is from “fairytale devil” to “break the curse”, and the rest is, as it were, from the wolf’s mouth. The last line reflects and answers Blake (Tyger, tyger).

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