The Wolves are Running


A travelling Showman collects as he goes
and lest you should be in any real doubt
know what he collects the travelling man shows.

The Wolves are Running, as Someone well knows,
but though it’s the snow that brings the Wolves out,
the travelling man still collects as he goes.

Someone, if seen, isn’t safe from his foes;
when asked where he is it is best you say nowt,
for what he collects the travelling man shows.

With Barney dog, pack, and his travelling clothes
will the Showman escape? Will he still go about?
The travelling Showman collects as he goes.

The Wolves are still Running; it thaws and it snows;
and people they’ll scrobble, and laws they will flout,
yet what he collects the travelling man shows.

But hope still remains, despite all those woes,
that humans and wolves he will put all to rout:
a travelling man collects as he goes,
and what he collects the travelling man shows.


A villanelle inspired by John Masefield’s The Box of Delights (1935) and incorporating key phrases from the fantasy

3 thoughts on “The Wolves are Running

  1. Lynn Love

    Well, that’s a very clever interpretation of Box of Delights. I still haven’t read it – though saw the TV adaptation when it came out, of course – so I’m unfamiliar with the phrases, but live it still. That theme of the showman and the wolves running gives a rhythm and pace, carrying us along, trotting alongside those wolves. Really enjoyed this Chris

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Calmgrove Post author

      Thanks so much, Lynn, what you noted was exactly the effect I wanted to get over. Do have a read of the novel when you can, it’s so rich in references and allusions and poetry and dreamscapes, all what I like to think of as multi- or polyvalent (whatever the correct term is, I keep thinking I made the word up!).

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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