Alan: Until we added on, our house would rock in the storm winds from the east, from the west. It made for some long nights, awake, listening.
Big West Wind
I can feel the wind
running like a swollen river
under the cabin –
a river with ice in it
under the cabin perched on two old cedars
straddling the cellar hole,
the river of fast ice –
and me in the dark, wondering
if this is the time
I’m going to dive in.
Nancy: Nights in the high desert in December are cold. Boulders heated in the noon sun contract in the cold, and the small crystals break loose and are free to ride with the wind. The sense of the free flow of stone, and the howls of unseen animals makes nights a wilder world than prosaic life after sunrise.
My brothers howled.
I felt how the ground shivered
under their haunches.
It was a night of transition.
The rocks crumbled –
I heard them, outside my tent,
participating in time.
Riding the wind, they rustled and scraped
past my ear, past my thin wall.
Brother called brother,
and there were soft noises at the water hole.
the rocks hurried down the washes.
I wanted to howl to my brothers,
sit on my haunches and howl.
Under me, the ground shivered,
my tent breathed with the wind,
stones made a sound like rain.
I wanted to howl,
and all the stillness of earth
was caught in my throat.
Cold as a dead thing
I waited for light, and crept from my tent.
The stones were done with their trickling,
the wind slid off down the side of the world.
I tried to warm my hands on the ground
where my brothers had been.