Five: Death in the Spring

I posted a series of four poems this past October titled The Change, and when going through my poems this morning I found a forgotten fifth in the series. You can read the first four parts by clicking on the links at the bottom of this one, the tragic final chapter in the story of a being—sometimes man, sometimes wolf—and a love that could never be. Enjoy!

Death in the Spring


The wolf lies on the meadow

     In cool spring shadow

         Beneath the hill

Breathing faint

     Eyes glazed

       Too still


The valley stretches empty

     Silence is all he hears

Then from a distance

          A scream from the hawk

               A faint movement

                  Curious twitching

                     Of ears


His eyes drift closed

        As from deep within

           Move the stirrings

                 Of one final change

A great tear from his eye

          Then a soft whimpering

               Past aged and yellowed fangs


As one last time

       The wolf becomes man

             There in the grass

                  All alone

His breathing is shallow

        As hide becomes skin

             ‘mid a moving

               Soft popping

                        Of bone


He drifts in and out

        Edging t’ward final rest

             He feels her presence


                                On the hill

The last sound he hears

          Her mournful song

                 Of goodbye

                     She lopes away then

                         And forever

                                 He is still


Copyright © 1999 C. Mashburn

Part one – She Beckons Me Come

Part two – Yearning Heart

Part three – In Dreams

Part four – The Battle

Part five – Death in the Spring


Part five presented on Gooseberry Garden’s Poetry Picnic #22


  1. Becky Sain said

    I remember those poems!
    This is a great addition Charles, no fair making us wait so long!
    Wonderful my friend!

    • Honest, Becky! I didn’t do it intentionally! I found this one yesterday, when I was looking for one to post on Gooseberry this afternoon.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. cheri said

    The Fitfh-the ending had an ending–i loved them so much-i posted them on FB:)i’m also going to use then to show Miranda-that poems come in all different styles..i LOVE your style:)

    • I don’t remember seeing them on FB, but thanks!
      You could show Miranda lots of different styles with just my poems!
      Love YOUR style! hahaha

  3. Grace said

    there is a poignancy as well as acceptance of death in the end.. nice catchy title too ~

  4. This was a enjoyable read and unexpected

  5. Elegant and eloquent… I read all five just now…what a master of words and visions….thank you very much for sharing all five parts of this today.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • You are very welcome, Siggi, and thank you for reading all five!
      I appreciate the awesome comment, too!

  6. terri0729 said

    oooo, a blast back to the past here and it was a great diversion too!! I loved this series you did. Nice addition Charlie! Blessings, Terri

  7. Sherry Mashburn said

    I love that line . . . soft popping of bone. I can hear it and feel it! Wonderful series.

  8. Eloquent and mesmerising to the end 🙂

  9. ~L said

    …. this one pulled me in deep into the words! Such a great poem!

  10. Like the play with structure, sir. Give it an interesting read and a balanced form.

    Especially like the first and the last stanzas.


  11. A little sad to start off spring. But I like the play of emotions and how he changes from wolf to man. Lovely imagery!

    • Yes, a bit sad, but then life is ever changing and sadness is a part of it.
      Thank you for the visit and comment!

  12. magical word painting.

    love it.

  13. elizena said

    This was an awesome series of poems Charles. I felt like I should have been reading a novel. Would have loved to read much more of this. I guess I’ll have to imagine the rest of it. LOL!

    • Thank you, Elizena! I’ve thought about turning this into a novel, and these days, with youngsters being so enamored with vampires, werewolves, etc., it might be a best seller! Something to consider doing in my spare time? Ha! I don’t have any spare time!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on this series of poems, Elizena.
      If you can, share them with your friends and families. Writing is my livelihood these days, and the more readers I have the more lively it will be. Currently it’s not very lively at all!! But, I do the best I can every day, and leave the outcome to God.
      Bless you, my friend!

  14. chimnese said

    your words always catch me, it is so fluent that the story is so amazingly done…

  15. Fascinating that this is the final one. I think you is foolin’ us, Charles.
    But that’s okay – me likes them all.
    Very Good again – as always.

    • I wrote this series of poems in 1999, and this is indeed the final one. However, Another commenter wondered about this being a novel, and that strikes a chord with me. Maybe in the future. It would mean filling in a lot f the blanks that are the poetic part of the story, and I feel it is sometimes best to leave the details to the reader.
      Thanks for the great comment, Isadora!

  16. Somehow, I missed the 4th … and am glad you linked all of them with this one … so I could reread them. This is a great series, Charles. I am sad to see it come to an end as she:

    She lopes away then

    And forever

    He is still

  17. Awww a sad ending. I always want a happy ending but, at least he is at peace. Lovely read.

  18. claudia said

    think spring is the saddest time to die…the wolf is a good metaphor…the sadness felt..the stillness at the end..

    • I don’t know; as for humans, it’s maybe a good time to go. Funerals in cold weather or rain are the saddest.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Claudia!

  19. very ‘still’ and ‘quiet’ tone. sad, well written.

  20. zongrik said

    i like the peacefulness in this

  21. i dunno that i have ever read a were wolf poem that made me feel this way…mournful for his loss….very well played charles…

    • My take on werewolves and the way I portray them in my writing is much different than most writers. I see them and portray them as noble creatures who have soles and a deep capacity for love, but are trapped in a dual world where love is always beyond their grasp.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Brian!

  22. Pat Hatt said

    Must be winter, I blame the non happy ending on the crappy cold..haha…great piece.

    • The piece wasn’t written in the winter, Pat, so that can’t be it!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  23. Zoe said

    Oh this may be my favourite one of your poems so far. Your werewolf, so intensely portrayed, got under my skin. Awesome!

  24. andiekins82 said

    That was so visual! I was almost startled by the eagle’s scream 🙂 I felt like I was on the hill! Very well done. Thank you for sharing!

  25. shail said

    That brought a sense of strange sadness. Beautifully worded!

    • Yes, the entire series was tinged with sadness and ended very sadly.
      Thank you for the comment!

  26. Steve King said

    This was a wonderful piece. The poetic ‘moment’ extended throughout the whole…no letdowns or loose change. And a great windup.

    • Thank you very much, Steve! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I appreciate the great comment!

  27. Shawna said

    Love this, Charles: “mid a moving Soft popping Of bone” … I can hear it, and almost hear it. 🙂

  28. Taylor said

    mind blowing imagery, well done.


  29. mairmusic said

    You paint an interesting scene here.

  30. Well…I read them all today and what an ending…you did leave the best to last! I enjoyed this series…dark and romantic til the end!

    • Okay! Thanks, Diane! I appreciate you taking the time to read them all–you might be the only one to do that!

  31. What a story …

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