Monday, November 4, 2019

Mother Wolf

“The loss of the wolf is like the loss of the mother. Somewhere she roams in memory, in darkness. Our bond with her is inexplicable, before the beginning of time. She is fierce love; she is sorrow." 

-from The Memory Palace, by Mira Bartók

"The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That's how much gratitude I can give.......Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which helps make compassion possible.

-Francis Ward Weller


In the dark cave, she stirs, 
nose twitching,
the scent of wildness and 
a cold north wind
luring her outdoors.
Her small ones huddle within, 
shivering, hungry.

It is a dangerous world.
The mother walks warily, 
eyes alert, watchful.
She keeps to the shadows, 
startling at every sound.

Her hunt for food requires 
skirting the ominous territory 
where the Other lives,
the Two-Leggeds with their 
clamor and their guns,
their ridiculous fear and hatred.

She may not make it home 
to the cave where 
her young ones wait, 
mewling pitiably.


It is a perilous world 
for mothers of every species
and their young.
How to keep small ones alive and safe,
with danger on every side, 
and in the air we breathe?


Our Great Mother mourns 
as she burns and floods,
her storms fierce with sorrow,
striving to find balance,
repeating her seasonal refrains, 
midst the bombs, the fires
and the fracking,
the emissions, the warming, 
the melting, the rivers running
with oil, the streets calamitous
with cars and blood -
the future hanging by a thread.


How much sorrow can I hold?
As much as my love of her beauty,
her fierceness, her over-arching sky -
that much, and more,
I will love and grieve for her
and her wild creatures,
until the sandman shuts my eyes
on her heartbreaking, hopeful 
eternal beauty
for the last time.

for my prompt at Real Toads: the Wolf Mother


  1. Truly an all-encompassing composition Sherry! Great work.

  2. From wolf mother, to all mothers, including mother earth and oneself, the fierce protectiveness for those under our charge and in our care is felt. I think I was most moved by the second stanza for the perilous plight of mothers.

  3. This is profound! I also like the quote about grief and gratitude that you shared.

  4. So much to praise in this poem, Sherry. I enjoyed the description of the scent that lures the wolf outdoors; love that the second stanza applies to all mothers; and the identify with the question ‘How much sorrow can I hold?’

  5. This is really resonating with me. It truly does seem like danger is always present today.

  6. I would really hope that it's not going to get much worse than it has already become... but alas I fear for the last wolf.

  7. Perfect poem for Blog4Peace day.

  8. Australias wild dogs, the Dingos are a protected species when living in national parks. Sadly they become vermin if they are caught outside that protection, trouble is it's difficult to tell them the rules!

  9. Wolves are such Beautiful Majestic creatures and their eyes just look deep in to your soul,We need to save them some how ,xx Speedy

  10. I'm thinking that mother wolves are the model to study behavior of mothers in the animal kingdom of the wild. Probably not all species though. In the Penguin world both mothers and fathers share the job, from nest sitting through the protecting and the finding and the bringing of nourishment phase.

  11. What an incredible poem Sherry. It is obvious your whole soul was put into this.

  12. I love this one, yes I do. It's deep and profound and it comes from your heart and soul. Just beautifully written my friend.

  13. This is beautiful Sherry, and moves caringly from one captivating section to another. Wonderful write. And thank you so much for sharing those words from Francis Ward Weller — profound truth and wisdom.

  14. I love how you wrote your poem in parts, Sherry. Each one touches the heart of the matter.

  15. I love how you progress from the relationship of one wolf mother with her cubs to Mother Earth and all of us, her children! Beautifully crafted!


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