Wolf Sighting


Wolf Sighting

I cannot look away to find my camera
to fiddle with the focus
to frame the vision —

your face might disappear into the willow
whence it came
your markings beyond the skill
of human art or imagining

your stillness unexpected
not one’s idea of wolf
your serene stance speaks
of unfamiliarity — yet almost knowing

I cannot look away to save my life —
yet thankfully my life is safe
the myth mere fairy tale

The creature who studies me
sees straight into my heart.
The peace of wholeness floods me
the strength of connection frees me.

I stand before the gift
of unknowable mystery.

 

These and other wolf photographs — as well as stories and poems —
can be found in Wild Wolf Encounters, True Stories of Wolves in the Wild.
(My husband took the pictures.  I cannot look away.)
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Raw Power and the Rule of Law

Untempered Steel

Raw power
untempered by the steely underpinning
of decency’s structural support
destroys all before collapsing.

That is not who we are.

Fresh Breeze

Long may our
flag wave
in the peace,
the delicious fresh breeze
flowing from the rule of law

photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil
under CCO public domain license
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Wolf Scat

Wolf Scat

When I see coyote scat,
I wonder —
Could it be wolf?

I answer myself:
not big enough
not black enough
not enough volume
not enough attitude.

Although coyotes have plenty of attitude.

If I have to debate the question,
the answer must be no, not wolf.

Because wolf scat is unmistakable.

Black, long, sinuous, shiny
voluminous, attitudinous
glorious.

You were here,
and I can see you are healthy.

It’s a good day.

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Wolf Track

Wolf Track

The record of your passing,
your presence,
canine imprint, enormous, spreading, clearly
written in wet earth
my eyes take it in —
scouring the ground like the nose
of a bloodhound as I inspect the evidence.

My brain is occupied —
analyzing —
not coyote — too big — too heavy
not dog — not even large dog —
the angles and spaces are different,
the toes, pads, curves contain
more breadth and depth
and — don’t waste your time — definitely not the demure and delicate fox.

Well before the busy brain settles
on its conclusion,
and in fact from first sight
the body knows instantly:

WOLF!

The effect is immediate —
I lose the power of speech
can only point and gurgle.
What’s left of me is transformed:
I am become wonder
powered by hope.

Wolf re-introduction may be on the Colorado ballot in 2020.
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Fall in the High Country

Summer in the Colorado mountains lasted precisely until the fall equinox.  Then a cool wind began to blow, heralding the new season’s arrival.  These pictures were taken that weekend.

Seasons change quickly at 9,000 feet.  Three weeks later, the leaves are mostly gone, the wind is more chill, and winter’s darker tones predominate.  Far be it from me to complain about winter.  I celebrate it now.  It’s our lifeline to planetary health.  Long and hard and moist may it reign.


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The Secret Code of Wildlife Managers

Crack the Code

In wildlife management’s secret code
camouflage words disguise the deed
mask the act
seek to fool with false cover:

kill becomes “cull”;
“harvest” hides the slaughter;
“remove” cloaks the crushing destruction;
“service” conceals an utter annihilation.Bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars
and foxes by the millions
pay the price on public land
pay with their lives for human
intolerance, fear, and greed
and a nightmare vision of mission

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You Will Meet Again

You Will Meet Again

You will meet again —

perhaps in a whale pod,
where a companion reminds you
of someone dear you cannot recall

perhaps as a wolf cub
with a wrestling sister
who triggers a faintly familiar cellular response

perhaps as a dust mote,
when sunlight strikes you
into blaze

perhaps in an exploding star
whose remnants collide in
near-empty space

You will meet again —

perhaps a sound’s hint
perhaps an eye’s mild gaze
will point the way to the buried brain place

part of you will wonder
part of you will know
part of you will drift by
in blindly fierce bliss.

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Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge

Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge was an early stop on our 2-week backroads trip to Yellowstone.  This migratory bird refuge is part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System.  Located in Colorado on the Green River close to the Utah border, it’s a quiet, magical place of stunning beauty.  Decades living in Colorado, and I never knew it existed.  Butch Cassidy and his outlaw band retreated to this remote location.  Wildlife of all shapes and sizes find habitat, food, and shelter here.

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Cloud Dreaming

with flycatcher accompaniment Great White shark cloud!  See those teeth!

 

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Otter Family at Heart Lake in Yellowstone

Otter family visits our backpacking campsite at Heart Lake in Yellowstone

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