Lupine Metaphor

 Poetry, Writing  Comments Off on Lupine Metaphor
Sep 221997

The following series of short poems is the progression
of a particular metaphor from initial, nebulous meaning
through vague intent, into clear association.

It is included on this site more
for education than for inspiration.


Color dry light, coal black of night, out again, no plan, try, bright letters unread, pretended distance, no, forced; thin ice doubt.

Answer this: when, how, why, try: listen to whispers -some are wise, some despise. How to sift them out, and who is right anyway?

Smile: interest or distance, threat.

Hug is not a kiss. No dress. Coffee cold from the morning -none brewing for breakfast.

When is the start finished; continue, begin? Becoming -the growth of that which is full bloomed. Is love a cycle, can the wheel wait? Spin up faster to a hold. Plateaus in the wide range. Climb unto the sun or slide down to the simmering sea.

First Pressing

Wide plain, not even being crossed.
Desert wild, walk around the waterholes.
Caught by the dry light, a dancing flow.
Carving gardens in the mountain knolls.

The skittish metaphor, eyes scattered to the shadows,
wanders by the washed slide.
The waters, tasted before, are chilled from the heights,
and salted by the threat beyond.

So, becoming, the climb is tried.
The stream a vague encouraging guide,
which shows the way to cool, clear source
while ever dodging the shortest course.

The growth and strength is set to forge.
The melting glacier -cool and hot; clear water runoff leads to no pool.
The glacial ocean and the skittish wolf.
The reaches of space and the icy comet.

The embrace of tomorrow for yesterday’s son.

A Metaphor Is Born

Skittish lupine pacing wide-flung range,
Pads dry, no tracks; and no trail to follow.
While never soaked by rain or river,
Is thus left never-cleansed and hollow.

He no more howls, or snuffles the pack;
He wearied of sport and chase and grins.
The muddied plain he minces ’round,
And counts by scores avoided sins.

Yet leaving grass and climbing hill,
Our cur struck mountain’s feet at a run;
His dry gaze caught by glittering promise,
He charged a gloried mirror of the sun.

How it shone, this sun; how it danced on the ridge!
His pace quickened, blurred, lowlands forgotten.
Light-dazzled eyes drip tears to dry tongue,
The glare’s blinding lances frighten not him.

And our cur’s charge found its crav-ed mark,
And the light promise rose to the fore.
And the glow fractured wide, scattered rainbows below,
And its source he could no more ignore.

For the sun’s mirror rose as a frozen wall,
A glacier’s edge on forced march to the sea.
And it painted moist ribbons on the valley floor,
Cool threat and oath of what should be.

This dry tarnished wolf stares to the ground
Testing the flow with his strongest paw
And doubts the sun over shoulder now
And its distant, sweet promise he saw.

So our fool does not know, for he won’t look for fear,
And he sips at the frigid melt.
He splits wide his mouth, turns fangs out of sight,
And plunges, and shudders, and gives up his pelt.

To wash in the sea and add tears’ salt to brine and hearts howl to the surf.


The stomping ground beaten down,
the scampering wolf shies from chattering stream.
Night’s howl of might a dented crown;
aslant and dry color tarnishing the hazy dream.

By chance caught wandering,
so far from warm and hackneyed court;
no longer bent on blind-mind plundering
or fast and low-ranked sport.

A glittering cliff of ice and wind,
a cool wash dancing to the sun’s beat,
a whisper of relief, surprise friend,
by some chance the glacier is meet.

Oh, wind, don’t dry the stream to ice,
don’t wake the high dozing sun,
let the light catch its smile twice
and leave the wolf no more alone.

Yet, sipping at the shying trickles
left a tang of salt upon his tongue.
But surely no one traded tickles
for bailing, damming, one so young.

The springs wash down the ancient gorge,
and mark the dust with clean ribbons;
but does the new grass grow to range,
or cushion the fall of the risen?

Our fool can not know, for to look is to risk,
and no low cur leaves his tail in the rain.
Yet when the glacial sea flows home at last,
his claws will paddle and damned be the pain.

So for now he snuffles and grins at the crystal
and praises the sun that set free the flow.
And he paces the prairie and watches for sand,
for only into grainy earth will lost love go.