The Werewolf in Love

Wolves, Lower                                                                                         Shawna Khalily

The Werewolf in Love

When you go afar off, hunting alone
my heart turns white,
my bones wither to dry sticks,
my fur turns to smoke,
and my singed tongue dissolves
to a black stone
too heavy
to lift in song
even in the full silver of moontide.

When you are running afar, my alpha,
my chosen mate—
I am just a man,
dressed in smuts and ashes—
The dogstar bites my brain
with a mouth full of Januaries—
And I think,
she will litter moondogs
without me to hunt while she dens—
I think,
I will hire on with a traveling sideshow
as Dogboy,
and search for her
among the crowds of prey.

But when I hear you howl, afar off
your song ignites
a pillar of fire in my brain
my eyes re-ember
the lay of our land, the promised wilderness
and I return the call
across the valley of the shadow.

The poem of course is my own. I wrote it for Mrs. Dr. Omed in 1997 before she became my Missus and before I accepted the virtual mantle of the Reverend and Doctor Omed. It is one of the poems in the book I wrote for her, An Army, with Banners. The image above is of a woodcut print made by the printmaker and artist Shawna Khalily. Mrs. Dr. Omed and I first met Shawna and first saw her work at Day’s Espresso and Coffee on Bardstown Road in Louisville, the day she hung her show on the walls of the coffeehouse. We knew that day one of those prints would be coming home with us, and last Sunday, the last day of her show, we just happened to wander in as Shawna arrived to take down her art. The print pictured above went into our car. It now hangs on our wall, where I can see it as I type this.  I’m so happy I could howl.

Little old lady got mutilated late last night, werewolves of Luhvul again


*As Charles Simic wrote in one of his poems, and as my friend Clarissa Pinkola Estes reminds us in her book, Women Who Run With The Wolves:

He who cannot howl will not find his pack.


3 responses to “The Werewolf in Love

  1. Pingback: Thursday Poets Rally Week 49 Fresh Poets 2 Explore Page (July 28-August 3, 2011) | Promising Poets' Poetry Cafe

  2. Pingback: Random Photo: See Them Now | Dr. Omed's Tent Show Revival

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