Words in Order – Now Available

Words in Order is the debut poetry collection from Wolf Stahl; it features 119 poems written between 2014 and 2017. Now available for online ordering through the A Wolf on the Fold shop page.

dog days

some dogs remember they are wolves,
and nurse the tender bruise of this knowledge;
some dogs remember that men and gods
reached past their teeth and
took fear from their mouths,
lashed and kicked and fed them,
chained and muzzled them and
left them dead in hundreds.
some dogs believe in mere survival,
some dogs find solace in their daily meals,
their isolation,
even the hands holding angry tooth-brushes,
reaching into their docile mouths,
daring the old fear to show itself one last time.

settling to a rest

we have bowed our heads beneath
the drop-ceiling skies, fingers pecking
crude metal, without knowing why
our works are useless to all, serving only
Mammon’s musters, our eyes are glazed, our
necks are craned, our
joys have lost their luster,
and all of us, sighing,
awake only for our shift,
and squirm, and scream, and dread to think
that this could go away.

Jumping From Empty

The gears are squeaking, grinding, slowly,
slowly – the gears are crunching,
dust and debris between their teeth,
gagging on the thick air and
kept in place by the prod of batons –
the gears are rattling, shaking, slowly,
slowly – grime leaks out as they are beaten,
the foremen ignoring their foam at the mouth –
the gears are wailing, louder, longer,
faster – the gears are trembling against their guards
ready to leap,
even if they must land on concrete.

Flowers for Doomsday

Roses for love, roses for lust,
simpler symbols have spawned worse fuss,
and truer chains than trust may rust.
Lilies for the survivors, as for the dead –
merely soft petals on spearheads,
trumpeting every spring – every spring,
when memories of fair seasons bring
the bud of rage at what has passed,
when all has gone that was meant to last
and they will grow – one, all,
they will grow green and tall
as pride grows long before the fall

The Sun Comes Up On Gardens

The sun comes up on gardens
and broken bodies,
it shines and brightens,
even on wrack and ruin,
on dissembled fathers and
deconstructed sons, the sun comes up
and shines on gray flowers, rent
towers, on dainty, bloody hands,
poking through the rubble, reaching –
the sun comes up on gardens,
filled with abandoned shells,
the sun comes up and greets
mortar teams brewing coffee, the sun
comes up, the sun comes up
on gardens

a fool’s gold is still gold

Oh Fool, oh sweet Fool,
what right have you to be so full
and light, to think in such bright and silly
tunes, to feel your feet
seep through the floorboards and sip gently
at the groundwater?

Oh Fool, oh sweet Fool,
your song is sung in scrambled eggs,
in leisurely walks, in the green of
new-formed leaves and the hefty talk of blossoms,
with petals reaching up to suck in the sun,
the stars, the sky, and songs,
and songs!

Oh Fool, sweet, sweet Fool,
don’t ever let the singing go to silence,
go carrying that tune, for
some things when dropped are spilled and soiled
Oh, Fool, my sweet Fool,
don’t ever believe this world isn’t yours,
and don’t ever quiet yourself for others.