Wolf Pack

Where is my child?
Out there, in clockthick air, the icy air.
Where is my mind?
Unspooled to find him, find him in the icy air.

Who forgot the door, the open door?
How soon the night thorn, blood scent, pack with golden eyes?
I forgot the door, the night door;
forgot to call my child, my child with golden eyes.

Where is my body, my body like a bell?
Calling mouths of night thorn, offered as a trade.
I ring under the open door,
To bring the pack my way.

Where is my child?
What fog made me forget?
He runs alone, just flesh and bone,
warm-blooded testament.

Here they are, the thorn sharp pack
to watch me fail and fall;
Why don't they strike, why don't they kill?
Why don't they move at all?

Where is my child? His devil sire
assures me he is dead.
But starlings in his tongue take flight
and leave him mute instead. 

Who forgot the door, the open door?
Who sees what clockthick time becomes?
Where is my child? Out there with them--
in icy air he runs.

for Brendan's "A Little Night Music" at Toads.  

Notes: Recently I had a dream that I had left a door open at night which I should have closed. I realized my boy was outside somewhere and that a pack of wolves and wild dogs which had been waiting and watching, would now have their way. I cast my mind out to find him, but couldn't. So I went to try to shut the door but the pack was already inside. I backpedaled and fell, expecting to be torn to shreds, but the pack just watched me. My ex smiled in a mocking way and told me my boy was already dead, but I didn't believe it. And then I knew--far from being dead, he was out there, vibrantly alive and running with the pack.


Brendan said…
The truth of dreams can't be otherwise approached, or as wetly, as in the rendering in verse. The theater in which this plays is deep inside, behind many curtains and locked doors. And this reader, who has no child though plenty of exes, stand weirdly with the wolves, that "icy air" which none of us can either contain or protect our loved ones with. I dunno, I felt grace at the end of this, as if the terror of encounter was stilled the rosary beads of the saying. Yes, he is out there, everywhere. Thanks.
Outlawyer said…
The whole poem is wonderful--chilling and also kind of exhilerating, but I am especially struck by the idea of clockthick time, as well as body like a bell. These are just details I know, but terrific ones. k.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
A fabulous poem, and dream and explanation.........wow. I most loved that he was running free, vibrant and alive, with the pack. Very cool. Love the photo too. Of course. I so love this post! I will be back to read it again.
Kim M. Russell said…
I'm with Sherry - wonderful writing, Shay. I love wolves, wolf stories, wolf poems and wolf dreams. What really amazed me about this poem was the sound - I had to read it aloud, especially the word 'clockthick', which reminds the reader of the passing of time, the ticking of the clock (beside the bed?) while the mind is unspooling. I also love the repetition and questions, which build up tension. It is also a lyrical, mythical poem. Such stunning imagery in the lines:
'But starlings in his tongue take flight
and leave him mute instead'.

Amazing dream and wonderful poem! It is like the greatest of fairytales and folk myths.
Anmol (HA) said…
The tension in this verse is palpable - it is dramatic and curious like a dream come alive. And the story beckons the reader to be one with the dreamer, and look for the child running in the icy air. That ending is liberating in a way. I loved the third stanza with its powerful diction.
. said…
These are my favorites:

"Where is my mind?
Unspooled to find him"

"How soon the night thorn, blood scent"

"His devil sire"

Your repeated phrases (with slight alterations) are so effective. I got major chills when you answered your own question: "Who forgot the door? ... I forgot the door."

The fourth stanza goes about as far into the soul as poetry can go. The fifh is pretty close too.

I love the closing, how you use the word "runs" and the revisit to "icy air" in the beginning to change the mood, to turn the story on its head. This is envigorating, penetrating air, not debilitating. And he is running with, not away from.
Margaret said…
"But starlings in his tongue take flight
and leave him mute instead. "

Love that line! I read a book "Mozart's Starling" and enjoyed it. Learned a lot about those birds. Also really like how you used questions to lead us through the poem - it really worked.
Frightening, yet wild and adventurous. Repetition in this works well to keep it immediate, even in the dream.
Sarah Russell said…
Love the eerie feel of this and the turn to a wonderful ending. It swept me along with the great images.
Beautiful, and so poignant.

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