Wolves in the Wilderness

Wolves in the Wilderness

Wolves in the Wilderness

Wolves in the Wilderness


Once there were wolves

in the deep, feathered snow.

In quiet, ancient valleys.


In the mountains

of Mexico.


I dreamt about it long ago,

of a house

with a flaking door;

of coffee and music

and bare feet falling softly

on a sunlit floor.


Now there are places

neither of us goes,

and reasons

only he knows.


There are wolves in Montana,

stalking meadows

lush and green.


Tearing farm dogs

limb from limb

in night-time pastures



There are wolves that live only

in our childhood memories.


Things I dare not say

in tender times like these.


Now there are places

water has ceased to flow,

seasons in which

nothing grows.


And reasons

nobody seems to know.


There are mothers

nursing babes

in cramped prairie dens.

Waiting for spring to come,

for flowers

to bloom again.

Young wolves kept in cages

for perspiring travellers

to admire.


Wolves running

from winter forests

ablaze with poacher fire.


The landscape now is grid-mapped,

quartered and signposted



There’s no room

for their kind anymore;

the natives have been driven out.


They’re sure the earth

will recover again.

Good things will grow

from the mud.


It’s only weather,

changing through the years;

these extremes

of drought and flood.


They care not

that the ice is melting,

nor that wolves sniff cement for food


in landfill sites

in Canadian towns

where plastic and glass is chewed.


They have disappeared

from the forests

and from the deepest glens.


Wolves seeking shelter

from weapons,


by the fears of men.


I used to know the way to go,

the road seemed smooth and clear.

Now it twists and crumbles

and splits apart

with each passing year.


Now there are days

that pass too slow,


and longings only I know.


There are wolves that watch the stars

move with their muzzles

pressed to the bars.


Men and women who yearn

all their lives,

admiring only from afar.


There are wolves

seeking the wilderness

through wide concrete walls.


Changes we must

endeavour to make

if we are to survive at all.


There are wolves

seeking the wilderness

through wide concrete walls.


If I lived a thousand lifetimes,

I would want you in them all.



About Louise

Page with Comments

  1. Powerful poetic statement. I like the way you see the wolf literally but also as a metaphor for that power, that “natural wildness” within all of us. By “wildness” I don’t mean “going crazy” but that which is true to the natural way of life. By killing, imprisoning, and driving the wolf out of its natural habitat, we reduce our own potential to see things as they are.

    Great post, Louise, thank you!

    1. Thank you so much, Paul! I so appreciate your words. You have actually helped me to understand my own poem better, and your perceptions are absolutely accurate. I felt, even after posting, as though I might have diluted the sentiments with too many verses, and have been trying to strip it down and refine it, but your comments cut to the heart of what I was getting at and made me feel miles better about this particular piece of writing. Thank you. 🙂

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