Day 13: The Nature of Wolves

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Logo by Linda Mitchell

Three things before I get to today’s poem:

1) Mark your calendars for the virtual event on April 25! Meet 8 creators, 9 books, and have a chance to win a free book (8 chances to win!)! Click the graphic for more info. Would love to see some Poetry Friday friends there. I’ll be celebrating a rhyming nonfiction book and a free verse nonfiction book, and there are several lyrical nonfiction books in the lineup. Learn about books you can use in (or donate to) your classroom or library. Celebrate Earth Day! Support book creators and indie bookshops! So many good reasons to attend :>)

2) Also, at Picture Book Builders, the awesome Jill Esbaum has an interview with me about writing Finding Family. And there’s a giveaway! The giveaway doesn’t close until April 21 :>)

3) Are you a poet? I’m presenting to Texas librarians this summer on poetry for the elementary school. If you have a recent-ish poetry book you’d like considered for my presentation, handout, etc., please go here and fill out the Google form. Thank you so much, and thank you to those who’ve already filled it out!

Okay, now on to Poetry Friday and Poetry Month. Curious about what I’m doing? Want to play along? Read more here.

[Heads-up: If you’re visiting regularly, please know that the bold, blue text is what I’m writing fresh each day. The black text is the same each day:>) ]

Oh, wolves. They are such an odd kind of wildlife, because they’re so close to our best buddies, domesticated dogs. And yet they’re utterly wild. They’re both familiar and fierce at the same time. Words like “moon” and “scratch” and “bite” were just begging to be used. Though looking back now, I almost would revise this to simply, They always / answer moon.

This is the perfect poem for today, because my sister Patty is visiting from Florida. And she brought the heat :>( We call her Heat Wave Patty. She visits to see me and also to get away from the FL heat, and it’s been in the mid 80s the last two days and today. Ugh. We were hoping it would snow while she was here. Anyway, she adores wolves, and I have a gorgeous cross-stitched wolf by her in my studio. I think they’re her spirit animal.

I don’t think I’ve read many wolf books?! How is that possible? What came to mind for me was Maria Gianferrari’s gorgeous Coyote Moon (illus Bagram Ibatoulline). And I’m looking forward to They Lead: The Wolf Pack, by June Smalls and Yumi Shimokawara.


What words will we be digging through today?

And here’s the card that we might pull our topic from:

So some possible topics are:

  1. whip
  2. egg
  3. walnut
  4. joke
  5. crack

Will you join in? Would love to see what you come up with!

And Jone is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup–check it out!


34 Responses

  1. My poem from April 12 words:


    I step, dress, rise.*
    Moon my trapdoor.
    I dive under storm,
    step out and look.
    Dazzling knowledge ahead:
    please always LOVE cake slices,
    and poets.

    *rose changed with “i” to rise, do you like how I did that to try to adhere closer to the magnet tiles? (I know Laura is very open-minded here and I agree, but I think trying to get close to the challenge is a good thing for me to attempt, attempt being the operative word!)

    PS We are having a few days of summer in the middle of spring here in the snow belt in CNY. Ugh but I love the sun which we lack most days and the heat is ok for now. I grew up on Long Island outside NYC and we had a nice long spring, one to relish and miss, but I love where I live right near but no on a beautiful Finger Lake, so no complaining here, just wishing. So hoping Heat Wave Patty and you and your wonderful R.S. have the best of times. I look forward to these poems and now our little poetry community which is a nice way to get to know more poetfriends!!!!

    1. Hahaha on the “cheating,” Janet. I agree that staying within the challenge is a good thing. It’s what forces me to grow. That said, it’s whatever works for you on any given day :>) Heat Wave Patty and I had a beautiful walk before it got too hot yesterday, and we spotted a muskrat, a blue jay, and hooded merganser ducks, which I’ve never seen before. So it was a win :>) I’m so glad you’re able to join in, Janet!

    2. Janet, spring in Syracuse is short if I recall. Enjoy spring however it comes. This line in your poem is lovely: Moon my trapdoor.I always love cake slices so thanks for serving them.

  2. Janet, I loved your sweet today poem, especially “always love cake slices…”

    Laura, enoy your sister visit! “they always answer moon” is wonderful. Thanks for mentioning books!

    I’m thankful I’m not a widow, but my mom was, and my sisters and sister in law are, so I chose that topic.

    Long look back at love today

    1. So hard to pay that price for love when the person is gone and gone too soon. A beautiful poem, Denise.

  3. A very short poem today … but it’s a long chapter of my life… 23 years this month. At the beginning, the first line was so intense but as time passes it’s the last line that endures.


    Love Always

    1. Diane, what a beautiful poem and your introduction is hopeful with the enduring love. Beautiful, 23 years this month–that is a long chapter and an anniversary you never wanted to celebrate. Peace to you.

    2. It is so hard to know in the sad days/times that the other end helps you endure. I am sorry for this sad anniversary. A lot of missing, a lot of remembering. You poem packs a punch. One I am glad I am lucky not to have had to write from real life. Blessings, Diane.

    3. Diane. Oh. Hugs to you, first, and what an impactful poem, second. My sister and I were talking yesterday about grief–different context, but same progression. Sad…love…memories. Thank you for letting yourself and your deep emotions/life be revealed to us in your poem. <3

  4. How interesting that both trapdoor and widow could have been combined with spider. Apologies, my family is reading “Charlotte’s Web.”

    Trapdoor Spider

    Under rose
    Long look
    Noise ahead…
    …Step in zone
    — - -> Kick out
    Dive back <- — -

    Taste like charm

    Also, my daughter is loving your book, “Lion of the Sky.” Here is her riddle-ku.

    Sun smiles on me
    Clouds give, wormsome dirt below
    Beauty grows, bees sing.

    1. Juliana, what a wonderful spidery tale you tell. I love “taste like charm”

      And your daughter’s riddle-ku is gorgeous. Such a blossomy spring gift!

    2. Ah the spider who spins such a web and then looks for food and prey. Nature.
      And your daughter’s riddle-ku, makes me wonder! And those bees singing, a nice delight!

    3. Wow, Juliana–this is awesome. Yikes for trapdoor spiders. I’ve never seen one, but just reading about them scares me :>D That “Taste like charm” is oh so evil-sounding in this context (at least, with what I’m picturing happening here!). And thank you to your daughter for the riddle-ku. I’m picturing a wonderful flower. And even if I’m wrong, thank you for the “wormsome dirt.” That phrase will stay with me. Fabulous!

  5. WOW! What joy to visit your blog today for poetry and new books and earth celebrations and just fun! Thank you, Laura. I’m off to read your interview. I’m biased…I’m betting it’s good.

    1. Thanks, Linda! There’s a lot of fun stuff going on :>) Happy to see you here. I miss my poetry friends in April, ironically, between all the bustle of NPM and spring books usually publishing and the added gift this year of my sister visiting!

  6. There are so many articles about wolves & their re-entry here in Colorado & a wolf-rescue site, too. Love your short, & true, poem, Laura. A favorite, very old wolf book of mine is Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat. It was set as an autobiography & did some good for wolves but many thought it was quite fictionalized. No matter, I liked it a lot! Keep having fun with your sis!

    1. Thanks, Linda. We have a wolf center in northern Minnesota. Such amazing animals…we got snow yesterday–whee!

  7. Laura: I love your wolf topic and I must suggest two sources: Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat, and there is a beautiful wolf encounter written by Sig Olsen, I can’t remember which book but I can try to find it if you are interested. The Sig Olsen one will put your hair on end, and Mowat will make you laugh. These only if you want to do some deep research, I guess, but I loved them both. Thanks for all your poetic goodness! I miss Minnesota… 88 year yesterday, but cooling soon.

    1. Thanks, Karen. Oh, and I just remembered When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone. Sigurd Olson writes so beautifully. In a very quick online search, I don’t find the wolf encounter piece you mentioned. If you come across it, I’d love to know the title so I can track it down. But no worries if not. So much beauty around wolves :>) We were in the 80s all last week, but we got snow yesterday. My sister is so very delighted!

  8. Laura, this is one of my favorites so far–“always answer moon.”

  9. Hi, Laura. I am still trying to get through the entire roundup. I love your diggings and what comes out from the venture. Wolfs always answer moon-nice work!

    moon strolls through sky
    mingling with starfriends
    pauses for a light kiss
    ©CVarsalona, 2023, quick write with words from Laura’s pile & poem

    1. I hear you. With my sister visiting, I am AWOL from last weekend’s rounds. Looking forward to catching up this weekend. This is a magical poem, Carol. So light and sociable and vivid. I love it!

    1. What a lovely thought for me to go through the day with. Thank you! And enjoy your time–you must be learning amazing things from Irene and Charles! <3

  10. I am finally catching up on last week. I love your daily poems and am so happy to see them each day.

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