Unwrapped, a Wild Poetry Cheer for Irene Latham

coast of Ireland
Photo: Laura P. Salas

Happy blogiversary, Irene Latham, and thank you for inviting us to share in your theme of WILD this year!

I live in the suburbs and have lived in the suburbs my whole life. I know it’s easy to trash talk about the suburbs, but, frankly, I’m pretty happy here. Would I like to live out in the wilderness, the WILDness, the beautiful, untamed places of the world? Sure! Am I really self-sufficient enough to do so? Nope.

So I love my small doses of the world’s wild places, whether I’m truly out in the wilderness or just enjoying bees buzzing around a flowering plant in the parking lot of the gym. I take wildness where I can find it in my daily life, usually.

And here’s my poem “Unwrapped,” where I think about how there’s a little bit of wildness in every tame thing we find.


Seashell swallows ocean
Pounds its tidal beat

Spark contains a bonfire
Tribal, flaming heat

Pebble echoes mountain
Architect of Earth

Seed encircles fir tree
Needled summer birth

Dawn announces daylight
Salmon skies unfurled

Heart splits softly open
Reveals the spinning world

© Laura Purdie Salas

Now, I’m off to Irene’s Wild Roundup to see how other folks approached the “wild” theme. Poetry? Photos? Essays? Who knows?

Happy wild tenth anniversary, Irene! Thanks for helping to fill the world with wild, wonderful poetry:>)

39 Responses

    1. Thanks, Rosi. And, yes! I’d like a little more of it, but I am very grateful for modern conveniences and connections…

    1. Thank you, Catherine–so glad you liked it! Hey, are you going to NCTE? Can’t remember if I’ve already asked you that…

        1. Excellent? I should’ve written down who was going. Need to look back through my previous post about it, plus FB messages, etc. Sure hope to see you there!

  1. Laura this is a wonderful poem! I too love life in the suburbs and find these streets can be unwrapped too, by deer and fox and children… Thank you for sharing in this celebration! xo

    1. Thanks, Irene. And muskrats and raccoons …though children are probably the wildest of all:>)

  2. I’ve dreamed of living far back in our mountains, but so far, can’t imagine having a bear on my back porch. I do like the small doses too, but love how you connected us, Laura, & this line: “Pebble echoes mountain”.

    1. I *think* I like the idea of a bear close by (there was a cub at our elementary school one day–a rare and amazing occurrence), but it’s those 45-minute drives to the nearest grocery store, and the amount of do-it-yourselfness needed regarding home repair and such that would do me in.

  3. Beware the suburbs! I live in the suburbs and have a groundhog in residence! Not to mentions squirrels, chipmunks, and a gazillion sparrows! I love them all!

    A profound little poem you’ve shared with us, Laura. Well done.

  4. Love the poem Laura. As some of the others have already stated, I live in the suburbs and startled a deer helping herself to our apple tree; a bear cub roaming the neighborhood; raccoons and possum who insist that our deck is theirs and even foxes. My idea of camping would be and Airstream!

    1. Thanks, Martha. Yes! We share our suburban yards with more wildness than many of us realize:>)

  5. Your couplets in “Unwrapped” are a gift, Laura.

    Can you share lines (couplet or not) on
    your being at the cliff, ocean + cloud + grass
    place on Earth?

    I see that you created this work of art with a lens.
    Can’t keep from toggling back up to this stunner.

    1. Thanks! I took this pic with my old iPhone. It’s just that the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland are stunning no matter how you shoot them:>)

      I could come up with something, I’m sure. Is that what you were asking…just for a little more description of what that place was?

      1. My geography-loving nature wanted to locate it.
        I haven’t been but as it turns out, our daughter is one of those who loved her visit there.
        Appreciations for the perfect foloup, Laura. And again, for the post + photo.

        1. The Cliffs of Moher were astonishingly beautiful (as was pretty much all of the coast of Ireland that we saw)… :>)

    1. Thanks, Michelle–sometimes I feel like all the poems I admire come from people who live in a different world than I do. So nice to know it’s not true:>)

  6. Wonderful poem, Laura — of course I love the wildness in it, and it also brings to mind Blake’s “world in a grain of sand” — Issa’s “dewdrop world,” and the like! You had me at the first enchanting line.

    1. Yes! I love those and also Rocks, by Florence Parry Heide, which takes the process in the other direction, and more literally.

      Big rocks into pebbles,
      Pebbles into sand.
      I really hold a million million rocks here in my hand.

      From a wonderful LBH anthology!

    1. Thanks, Penny–that’s so kind of you. This was one I really liked, actually. Wrote it during a poetry class I took…

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