Our Sunday Poem today is "The Last Wolf" by Mary TallMountain, from her collection Light on a Tent Wall, reprinted on the Poetry 180 website. TallMountain, a Native Alaskan writer who lived for many years in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, was the author of A Quick Rush of Wings, Matrilineal Cycle and other wonderful collections of poetry and prose. I particularly recommend Listen to the Night, a gorgeous volume containing forty poems on animal themes.
According to the Freedom Voices website, TallMountain "was born in 1918 in Nulato, a village along the Yukon River in Alaska, to a Koyukon/ Athabaskan mother and a Scots/Irish father. When her mother became terminally ill, Mary was adopted by a non-Native couple and taken away from her village. Traumatized first by losing her family and homeland, then by the harshness of mainstream American culture, she felt like an angry outsider for many years. Writing was a way of going home, of reclaiming her ancestry, her family and her homeland, and a way of claiming her own proud native voice. Her stories and poems portray life along the Yukon River and her removal from that land. Her work also captures tender images of street life in inner city San Francisco." Visit the website for information on the TallMountain Circle, and on the annual TallMountain Creative Writing and Community Service Award.
The art in this post is by Mark Wagner, who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area. More of his paintings can be seen in the Endicott gallery ("Mythic Art" and "The Spirit of the Land"), and on his Hearts and Bones Studio website.