For The Last Wolverine Poem by James Dickey

For The Last Wolverine

Rating: 3.7

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


Lord, let me die but not die

Castellenas John 19 March 2019

Powerful and needed words. When the bears and wolves is gone. Man will follow.

2 0 Reply
Ramesh T A 19 March 2020

I really wonder at the formidable power of x men caught and composed as a poem so well to read here! Congratulations to the Poet!

1 0 Reply
Benjamin Uy 19 March 2019

As great as a poet’s soar as eagles, As deep as the cries in the wilderness, this poem of a great poet, Plus a+++++++++++

1 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 19 March 2019

The last red meal! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

1 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 19 March 2019

" The new world's last eagle" , grand conceptualization. Congrats on modern poem of the Day.

0 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 19 March 2019

Lord, let me die but not die Out......impressive ending. Beautifully composed.

0 0 Reply
James Dickey

James Dickey

Atlanta, Georgia
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