Learn More

James Dickey

Rookie (2 February 1923 – 19 January 1997 / Atlanta, Georgia)

For The Last Wolverine


They will soon be down

To one, but he still will be
For a little while still will be stopping

The flakes in the air with a look,
Surrounding himself with the silence
Of whitening snarls. Let him eat
The last red meal of the condemned

To extinction, tearing the guts

From an elk. Yet that is not enough
For me. I would have him eat

The heart, and, from it, have an idea
Stream into his gnawing head
That he no longer has a thing
To lose, and so can walk

Out into the open, in the full

Pale of the sub-Arctic sun
Where a single spruce tree is dying

Higher and higher. Let him climb it
With all his meanness and strength.
Lord, we have come to the end
Of this kind of vision of heaven,

As the sky breaks open

Its fans around him and shimmers
And into its northern gates he rises

Snarling complete in the joy of a weasel
With an elk's horned heart in his stomach
Looking straight into the eternal
Blue, where he hauls his kind. I would have it all

My way: at the top of that tree I place

The New World's last eagle
Hunched in mangy feathers giving

Up on the theory of flight.
Dear God of the wildness of poetry, let them mate
To the death in the rotten branches,
Let the tree sway and burst into flame

And mingle them, crackling with feathers,

In crownfire. Let something come
Of it something gigantic legendary

Rise beyond reason over hills
Of ice SCREAMING that it cannot die,
That it has come back, this time
On wings, and will spare no earthly thing:

That it will hover, made purely of northern

Lights, at dusk and fall
On men building roads: will perch

On the moose's horn like a falcon
Riding into battle into holy war against
Screaming railroad crews: will pull
Whole traplines like fibers from the snow

In the long-jawed night of fur trappers.

But, small, filthy, unwinged,
You will soon be crouching

Alone, with maybe some dim racial notion
Of being the last, but none of how much
Your unnoticed going will mean:
How much the timid poem needs

The mindless explosion of your rage,

The glutton's internal fire the elk's
Heart in the belly, sprouting wings,

The pact of the 'blind swallowing
Thing,' with himself, to eat
The world, and not to be driven off it
Until it is gone, even if it takes

Forever. I take you as you are

And make of you what I will,
Skunk-bear, carcajou, bloodthirsty

Non-survivor.

Lord, let me die but not die
Out.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (For The Last Wolverine by James Dickey )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. The unblamenesses allay wounds, Pijush Biswas
  7. The Three Kings, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  8. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  9. The Eagle, Alfred Lord Tennyson
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe

Poem of the Day

poet Emily Jane Brontë

I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born

In secret pleasure - secret tears
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Cuba…..God's Betrayal……….Perhaps, James B. Earley
  2. Poem-Spectator, Tushar Ray
  3. True Love Never Dies, lou parks
  4. Untitled VII, Sierra Staten
  5. The unblamenesses allay wounds, Pijush Biswas
  6. I Move, So I Am, Tanja Henderson
  7. Life Dances, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  8. Looking Kyle In the Eyes, Kyle Schlicher
  9. Besten Dank für den Gruss, Wolfgang Steinmann
  10. Birthday poem, Wala' Qamhieh
[Hata Bildir]