Thin-flanked winter

For the dverse prompt, a poem with symbols.


The thin-flanked wolf stalks these bare hills,

When wind has stripped the golden leaves

From oak and alder by the stream,

Where once were stacked rich summer sheaves.

Hunger now and thin-ribbed voices,

Echo through the balding wood,

And I hug my chest with gnawing cold,

On this dark bank where once we stood.

Winter cold, he brings and hunger,

The great boar, I see tusk-furrowed slopes,

No eyes have I for wind-ruffled robin,

Pared to white bone my famished hopes.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

50 thoughts on “Thin-flanked winter”

    1. Thank you so much! Blunden’s poem is a tender recollection of his past, very English and bucolic. I too like this kind of poetry, especially because it evokes a time that is lost forever.

  1. Jane, you have such a wonderful way with meter and rhyme that makes me feel like I am reading the classics. For me, this speaks clearly of the seasons of life–those of fullness and emptiness. Nice.

    1. Thank you, Victoria! That’s quite a compliment! I had to think about this one, how to make it different to the kind of poem I usually write, and found I couldn’t. I stick symbolism in most of my poems!

    1. I am cold, Nan! If you only knew! It’s been so cold even the fridge has stopped working. I feel for the critters who live out in it all the time, even though at the moment I feel as though I may as well be outside with them 🙂

  2. A beautiful write Jane, rich in symbolism and with a despairing undercurrent.
    I have read your fine words several times and maybe I have politics on the brain, but I have considered Tusk and Trump re climate change…
    Anna :o]

    1. Thanks Anna! I’ll leave all the Trump references to you, my friends across the water—you elected him, you sort him out 🙂 I try not to think about the detestable man at all, but climate change is real, even if the comic character with the orange wig is fake.

    1. Thanks Bjorn 🙂 We don’t have wolves here yet, but they’ve already been sighted in the Gironde and the Lot this year, so maybe soon. The neighbour will be dusting off his shotgun.

      1. He has sheep and people with sheep think that their animals have priority when it comes to vast private pastures to graze. Not that the sheep farmers are overly sentimental when it comes to sending the sheep so lovingly protected from the evil wolves in cattle crates to be butchered in some barbaric way in a Middle Eastern country.

  3. the opening adjective ‘thin-flanked’ sets the scene so well and how cleverly you morph the animals with the winter landscape – a very enjoyable read Jane

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