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Sample Poems by Allen Ireland


A lone wolf crying in the wilderness
Will die. Where are the others?
He is not crying for himself.
He's crying for his brothers.

A wolf thrives only in a pack.
It's not the same with men:
The lone man lives for an eternity
And only cries within.

Private Meeting

Five deer were gathered for a private meeting
This evening at the bottom of the lawn.
I opened the back door and yelled a greeting:
The buck let out a snort, and all were gone.

A hunter, then, for trophy or for table,
Might have unleashed his rifle's dormant power.
A nodding grandmother, if she were able,
Might have stayed up to watch them for an hour.

An artist might have taken brush or pencil
And drawn them in the beauty of the season.
But I'm the fiend, the aberrant, the rebel.
I violated Nature for no reason.

Grave-House (1800s)

"Your father's been to Grave-House," I heard my mother say.

"Are we to settle there?" I asked, in a curious way.

"Oh, someday.
It is a beautiful place, with flowers all around;
A stone with an inscription, at the entrance, on the ground;
And many other houses scattered round."

I pictured the place in my mind. . . .

That was many winters ago.
We traveled there by carriage
In a storm of snow.

Now, I know.


It seems I do everything for that something inside me,
That little dark master who cries and cries,
More, more. Much more. Even more.
He raves in the darkness, pounding the flesh walls.
He cries like a slave for some light, some love,
But his screams are the screams of power, of life,
And he knows that my defiance is futile, that starving him
Starves myself.

His mouth waters at the food I present him.
Just a morsel is all he asks.
Just a morsel would give me peace.
He leaps like a hungry dog at the outstretched hand,
His eyes filled with heaven.
Like a closing door, the heaven is taken away.

And I smile at the thought of his madness.
And I laugh at the groans from the depths of me.
Peeping at love through keyholes, I smile at what I see.