Dan Guenther: ‘Collaring the Wolves’ and ‘Tracking Lynx’

Collaring the Wolves

Driven from his pack by a younger male,
a solitary wolf
wandered down
from the Colorado Flat Tops
to prowl our narrow valley,
drawn by a promise of easy prey.

Our lupine intruder now wears a radio collar
for his own safety,
stalking the timber at the edge of town
where tourists stroll unaware of the hazard,
how the scent of their unattended Chihuahuas
and Toy Pekingese lures a wild canid.

These cosmopolitan visitors come to gamble,
trying their luck
as predators of all kinds increase,
from the grifters easily collared by local deputies
to that Saturnine sociopath from San Francisco,
caught by security at the Last Chance Casino.

Dan Guenther

Tracking Lynx

Having left the affluent west side canyons
of Los Angeles,
where the Mulholland Drive elites
rest secure
behind their walled estates,
your grandson has returned to our remnant
virgin timber
to film an elusive lynx.

At almost eighty you know better than
to spend too much time at high altitudes,
but you are in awe
of the lynx hidden in these boreal forests,
and share
what you have learned over a lifetime
tracking their trails
in newly fallen snow;

And where your neighbor’s snow mobiles
have opened a pathway
through waist-high drifts,
for the first time in a decade you venture
up Sleepy Cat Mountain together,
both wearing snowshoes
made by your Norse grandfather,
more than sixty years ago.

Dan Guenther


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