I am going to post two poems about the end of the world. One is mine, one by Mary Tallmountain. Ms. Tallmountain's poem is one I chose to read at an evening reading at the Carnegie Center in Oregon City a couple years ago. It sticks in my heart and pains me. I took my turn.
The Last Wolf
The last wolf hurried toward me through the ruined city.
I heard his baying echoes down the steep smashed warrens
of Montgomery Street and past the ruby-crowned highrises
left standing, their lighted elevators useless -
Passing the flicking red and green of traffic signals,
He bayed his way eastward in the mystery of his wild loping gait.
Closer were his sounds in the deadly night through the clutter
and rubble of quiet blocks.
I heard his voice ascending the hill
and at last his low whine as he came, floor by empty floor,
to the room where I sat in my narrow bed looking west,
waiting, I heard him snuffle at the door and I watched.
He trotted across the floor.
He laid his long gray muzzle
on the spare white spread
and his eyes burned yellow.
His small dotted eyebrows quivered.
Yes, I said.
I know what they have done.
from Light on a Tent Wall, 1990
University of California, Los Angeles, CA
That's when the night stilled,
hardened, and the tight stars choked
and fell to flat earth,
dead embers. The sky
was no longer black, dim gray.
is deeper than hope.
She snuffs at dead stars amazed,
confused, wants to put
them back, cannot reach
that high, to the dim flat sky.
Her howl tears her throat.
February 17, 2009 9:11 AM