Canis Lupus by David Grant

By night you hear the howling of the wolves
Canis lupus 
In unison
Voices from beyond these four grey walls
Four grey walls within four grey walls

The heat of the unseen sun on the black steel door
You press your palms, your face, against it 
Before stepping through
A lull
Except for the ticking traffic light 
Counting down its change
All is calm

You walk the avenue alone
The trees alive with birds and rattling leaves
As far as the park gate
The ticking sun 
Approaching now its zenith
Fauna in full voice
Flora, relentless, pushing out
Unfolding from the other place
Into this place
Yet still…

The next stage finds you returning
What it felt like 
To be 
Back there
Behind the black steel door

You stop
And turn
Remembering now 
Your voice
Wetting your lips, your tongue
Saliva, swallowing uncomfortably
Moistening passages within
And surfaces
Then follow once again 
The incessant call of birds in trees
And whispers

You used to look at people
And feel sad
They angered you as they climbed in vain
Up hills and heaps of slag
Stumbling, up and up
And all you did was look on.
Their pathetic ways.
That’s all you’d do.

Barefoot now
Your purpose is to locate the centre
It must be here, how can it not.
Just a matter of time
And patience
Then you’ll rest
Sit down awhile
And shut your eyes

(Inspired by ‘Endgame’ by Samuel Beckett.)

Listen to David’s own reading of the poem here.

David Grant

David Grant is a Dublin-based repairer of woodwind musical instruments. He is also a stage and screen actor. In the past, he has lived as a semi-self-sufficient smallholder in south Tipperary. When words come he writes them down.

Twitter: @Crataegia

Instagram: @davidgrantsnaps