The Wolf and the Rose

Here’s another of my many “wolf” poems. I wrote a slew of them in the late nineties, and seems I keep finding more as I go through all my old files. As I’ve said before, I have always been fascinated by wolves; I find them to be an extremely romantic animal, and to me they epitomize the struggle of life.

I will be posting this poem on Gooseberry Garden’s Poetry Picnic. Their theme this week is Nature, Forests, Rivers and Mountains, and, though I don’t mention them all, I think this poem is on the right track for the prompt. I hope you enjoy it.

The Wolf and the Rose


Lone white wolf on the hillside

Gazing down, he stands silent and still

Hungry eyes scan the valley

Searching for this night’s kill


The moon still fast asleep

On the cold world’s other side

Snow shawl wraps the mountain

‘cross the valley, so deep and wide


Wolf moves as if by magic

Slips quietly down the hill

Belly empty and aching

Demanding to be filled


Eyes roaming as he travels

He blends with the blanket of snow

Nothing else moves, no sign of life

Not a bush or a flower grows


Alas, he grows weak then stumbles

Another step and then he goes down

A groaning last breath escapes him

The cold world hears not the sound


His body lies stiff and frozen

Until at last comes the spring

Tis in the summer they find him

‘neath a tree where songbirds sing


A thorny bush with one red blossom

Casts shade on the spot where he fell

The birds warble a song bittersweet

A story of life in the wild they tell


They sing not a song of his death

Of his dying, his struggles and woes

They sing about life lived hard, yet full

For the wolf that lies ‘neath the rose


Copyright © 1999 C.  Mashburn


  1. cheri said

    i loved it:)

  2. Morning said

    a sad death for the wolf,

    a rose will make the place more graceful, apt mixture of loss and love.

    Happy Poetry Picnic.

  3. Heaven said

    And hopefully we look at death and life this way. This line resonate with me:

    “They sing about life lived hard, yet full”

    Uplifting write ~

    • You saw through to the core of this one, Heaven!
      Thank you for the wonderful comments!

  4. a song of life lived hard, yet full …

    divine line, well done.

  5. thingy said

    Oh, beautiful, yet made me sad.

    • Yes, that is exactly what I was shooting for with this one; the beauty and sadness that are life.
      Thank you!

  6. swanrose said

    great ending to this.

  7. terri0729 said

    Ooh Charlie! I really liked this one probably the best so far! It is simply beautiful and beautifully simple. Peace, love and blessings, Terri

    • The best so far? Wow! I hope you’re right, Terri! But then… I’d have to write a better one!
      Thanks for the awesome comments!

  8. Enchanting write…most enjoyable.

  9. A.B. Thomas said

    Struggle, the undeniable strength of fate and the reenergization from the loss – great write! By the by, I enjoyed reading the write up on how your blog and the little snippets of how you go about things!

    • Thanks, A.B.! I like to let folks know where my writing comes from. It has a lot to do with things, I think. People like to see inside of things.
      Thanks for the great comments!

  10. Awww I love most animals, can’t say I’m too fond of snakes or creepy crawly bugs that bite but, don’t wish harm on them. Apart from Mosquito’s and those things that bite like that. I feel so bad/sad for the poor wolf. I think wolves have such a mystique and majesty about them, they have been hunted (almost to extinction) so badly maligned by us.
    It breaks my heart when we see of bears and other wildlife being shot because they encroach/poach for food in towns, as I tell my teen, humans are taking away so much of their habitat and their own hunting grounds they have no choice but to search where humans are.
    Ok, better step down off soap box… LOL
    Very nice write from you (still sad for the wolf though ) *winks.

  11. Beautifully done!

  12. Sherry Mashburn said

    Beautiful write of life’s haunting beauty . . .

  13. Another great write 🙂 I’ve always thought wolves are the most beautiful creatures; I think it’s why I hanker after a large dog of my own.

    • That’s kind of the opposite for me. I would never own a large dog, unless I had a big piece of property it could run on. I’m funny that way.
      Thanks for the great comments!

      • That’s the reason why I don’t have one, I’d have to live on a farm or estate. I hate the idea of keeping animals from running around and being themselves.

      • I hear ya! Until my little dog got old and can’t run much, I used to take her out to run every day. She’s sixteen, and we still go for two walks a day. She also has her doggie door and a big yard she can roll around in. Thanks for the conversation. I love dogs!

  14. Andy said

    Hello Charles.
    There is such depth of emotion contained within.

    A well-written piece of life, its struggles & of course ending with death.
    I love the beauty of the one red blossom.
    The last two stanzas sealed it for me.

    Nicely penned, my friend.

    Thanks for sharing & for your visit/comment. They are always appreciated.

    The Quiet Winds Of The Night

    • Thank you for the thought-filled comments, Andy!
      Your visits and comments are always appreciated!

  15. ghosterb said

    Nicely done Charles. This was a very entertaining read my friend!

  16. Enchanting, sad and beautiful … leaving the reader lifted with inspiration!

    They sing not a song of his death
    Of his dying, his struggles and woes
    They sing about life lived hard, yet full …

    Thank you!

  17. Eclipse said

    A well written poem Charles, a great metaphor for life vs death…
    Poor wolf…I’ve always feel for his kind…..(…howwl….)

  18. Fountains said

    The last paragraph! How inspirational.

  19. robin said

    amazing imagery… i read it as the wolf within..

  20. This poem has a really nice flow. It has good imagery. The wolf is one of my favourite animals. It was real.

  21. Seabell said

    So sad and beautiful! A truly song to the wilderness.

  22. Kay Salady said

    That was really nice, Charles. I liked the part about one rose growing on the bush. xoXox

  23. dc said

    I love a good wolf poem –

  24. Living hard, yet full….great food for thought. I loved the imagery and sound of “The moon still fast asleep/On the cold world’s other side/Snow shawl wraps the mountain/‘cross the valley, so deep and wide”

  25. Woohoo I smell Halloween here!! lol Great piece Charles!! Thank you for sharing!

    • I have a Halloween poem ready to go, Elyas. It’s a bit on the light-hearted side of things, however. I’ll post it tomorrow or the next day.
      Thanks for the comments!

  26. Wow. This feels really powerful.

  27. Poignant and moving both in its’ gentle gentle expression of a heartbreaking death and in its touching hope for the renewal of life.
    Very deep … a … must read agan poem.

  28. A pittoresque piece 🙂

  29. Abby Kelly said

    I love it, but it makes me sad ):

    • Yes, sometimes life is sad, but most of the time it is full of joy!
      Thanks for the comments, Abby!

  30. Becky said

    Yay Charles! Such great images. Loved this.

  31. Absolutely beautiful

  32. C Rose said

    The wolf such a symbolic and even spiritual creature, you serve its image well in your words. Lovely ~ Rose

  33. lolamouse said

    Strong piece! Sad yet speaks truth of the circle of life. Great images in this poem.

  34. jeannette said

    life is short and must be lived full and hard….

    thank you for taking time to read one of my posts recently. i’m learning from all you..

    happy weekend! God bless you!

  35. naramalone said

    I’m here reading your wolf poems. Thanks for pointing me to them. Maybe you’d like to share a series in a guest post at

    • I’d love to, Nara. Which do you think would be best, “Changed”, or a group of the others?

  36. Most unexpected … I see what you mean that you ‘write about them in a more romantic vein’ … mine are, as you say, ‘wicked’ 🙂

    • I’ve got some wicked stuff in my satchel, but as you can see, I’m more the romantic. I just mix in a little drama.

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