Journal of Writing & Environment

Wind whispers no secrets. It rips and roars, steals

what’s said and carries it down ridges


to the valley. You catch a glint of ocean

eighty miles away, but listen: not waves, no tide


doing its constant dance. The wind carving

granite takes and gives nothing back. Watch:


hats flipping over their brims, tattered maps

snagged on scrub pine curling into itself


as clouds part just enough for sun to edge aside

the chill, warm enough on wind-whipped faces


for smiles, for favors. If the camera pilfers

bits of soul, then what does the eye behind it


take, what binds the hiker who snapped your photo

and the campers who posed as you counted?


Camaraderie and camera: vaulted room

and roommate: strangers made companions


under a vault of clouds. It doesn’t happen

at malls, in parks, on busses. Beaches, it’s keep


to your blanket. But up here something scatters

the self, the way blueberries cram every crack


holding water from storm to storm, the way

clouds gather around the summit, birds


to a spire, the way — like this — simile

finds simile, one to another, language


piling up and meaning diffused till it comes

together, likeness accreting the way


stone on stone becomes a mountain that stands

alone against wind coming out of the north.