Saturday, August 22, 2015

Forever Gone

The White Wolf
by Julie L. Hoddinott

The white wolf came in the night
to talk about her babies,
huddled in their den without food.
She came to ask for human help,
which, somehow, we don't know how to give.

So many species gone forever,
so many voices, stilled,
who will no longer sing the sun up in the morning,
or bed down, safe and content, stomachs full,
with their offspring at night.
So many wild creatures being hunted and slaughtered,
driven out of their diminishing habitat,
flushed by wildfires into the open,
starving and desperate, with no where to hide.

The white wolf came to talk about these things,
in the spirit of sisterhood with all living beings.

"Wolves," she told me, "are selective 
in our hunting.
We hunt only for food, 
choose the old, the lame, the sick,
in order to preserve the herd.
In ten hunts, we catch and eat only once.
For we wolves think about tomorrow,
not only today."

I gave her a bowl of milk, in sisterhood,
ashamed of my species and our greed,
who do not think of all the other beings
who will share our tomorrows.

She lapped it up calmly, gave me a grateful paw,
looked into my eyes and returned 
to the diminishing forest
she still calls home, until it, too, is gone.

How many "forever gone"'s do we need
to realize we are decimating our own habitat,
as well as hers,
that the day will come when we 
will be the ones displaced,
searching for food for our children?
For no gardens can grow 
on a dead and burning planet.

How is it we can't see
their fate and ours is forever bound?

I watch her slip away into the forest,
wondering how many of her pups
will survive till they are grown.

Experts estimate the current rate of loss of species to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the normal rate of extinction (which would occur if humans were not around). Unlike extinction events in history,the scientists tell us, the current rate of extinction is one for which humans are completely responsible. Source: World Wildlife Federation


  1. It is very sad that people can not see.

  2. A grim reminder about the extinction some species are faced with, and we humans are not making things easier either, with all the mindless killings of animals going. Its nice of you to post about this.

  3. Oh. And do the visits mean there is still a chance? Or are they, is she, saying goodbye? I am certain disappearing environments are the very last step.

  4. We extinct so many species each year, it ssad what our greed has brought us to -- and continues to do. It would be pretty amazing to have a visit with a wolf. I would hope I had the chance to comfort her as well, if even for a moment and maybe give hope too that we are not all as destructive.

  5. This is a cautionary tale, Sherry. Well penned.

  6. "ashamed of my species and our greed,"...sigh...

  7. our species is uncaring. extinction, wow, to think that these beautiful animals are unique to our planet and our planet is but a grain of sand in the universe. not only have we robbed our children from appreciating these species but the whole universe. sad mi amiga. i too am so ashamed of our species

  8. But just think, there are more subdivisions, and strip malls, and....

  9. Sometimes we need positive news.. and I had a wonderful experience this summer... I saw an arctic fox with four cubs. We could actually sit down and watch them play... it was like one of those films. And the arctic fox seems to be increasing again, maybe partly because they are not hunted at all.. There are so many reasons whey species, but our ways with the habitats are of course the worst.

  10. I like how you depictt the wolf. So sad Sherry.

  11. the discussion no one wants to have: there are too many people. ~

    1. That is really true. And it is a discussion no one wants to have. It is so troubling and I guess too difficult for people to face--and of course capitalism based on increasing markets--k.

  12. How very sad Sherry ~ I wouldn't want to live in a place where animals are going to or are extinct ~

  13. Why can't we learn? I don't understand it.

  14. A very touching write...breaks my heart...

  15. Such a beautiful creature and so sad it is to become extinct. Our cuddly wombat is also in danger of extinction because of a skin disease if a cure is not found.

  16. Important poems on conservation but we're too selfish a species aren't we..hell bent on destroying ourselves and our world.

  17. It's the sad truth. Humans are stupid. We're screwed if our ecosystems go out of balance due to killing off our predators. We're screwed without creatures such as honeybees. So short-sighted, caring only about momentary pleasures and not thinking at all what we do to the world.
    Thank you for your powerful words. And thanks for visiting me at

  18. too many species have disappeared forever already - we're robbing their living space - and sadly not only that of animals but of some nations as well

  19. This has such huge grief in it -- I'm reading "While Glaciers Slept," a climate scientist's attempt to write about big losses (like fading glaciers) with a heart recently broken by the early death of both her parents. How else to get the magnitude down? We all have to find that register, to write about what's happening in our own back yards -- then join those voices together. Fine work.

  20. If only more would listen to the voices of nature, the wolves, tigers, rhinos and all endangered species.

  21. Hi Sherry-another thoughtful poem and I certainly share your view--that said, I'd be a little fearful to have a wolf in front of me! But I certainly cede them the right to be there! Thanks. k.


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!