Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2009


by Paul Hamilton


The wolves gather in silence
Out of crisp air
Materialise some of the oldest
Followed in ones and twos by those next along
Some recognise others and nod over
For one of us to attend would be like
Dying and being born over and over
Repeating a circle which would, without doubt, drive us mad
Into the forrests
Travelling vast distances
Point to point
Sensing only movement under foot
Equal to the constant weight of our hearts.

Each head cocks upwards
Sniffs and tastes the air
In a few seconds the ground shudders, sighs,
Over the lip of the tallest tree a face appears
Each member of the gathered bows it's own head
As in sweeps the oldest of them.
Remembered by a cub in the eye of it's mother
The cuff of the father's first hunting lesson
It's shape is theirs, but vast in scope
Like smoke drifting through to the centre,
Seated with an exhalation of remembering breath,
The oldest smiles.
For one of us to attend would be like dispersal
Atomised from the immediate
Reliant on the smell in the air
Caught on the tongue
Running through glades and ice pools
The night we met.

Added: 27.02.2009