Hard Wind, by Beth Paulson

Beth Paulson

What woke me was the moaning of the wind,
trees bending their green branches in the wind.

A screen door of the old house banged in wind–
rags, papers flung to corners with the wind.

Dreams of the former dwellers fled in wind.
Clouds are their dead faces borne by wind.

A young girl once danced circles in the wind
that turned white sheets to ships’ sails in the wind.

Remember how sand stung our legs in wind
and how our sea-wet bodies shivered in wind?

Chinook or Borras you can name this wind.
When red dust blows, there’s desert on the wind.

Sometimes war in your land is like hot wind
too strong to stop: call it an angry wind.

See how the wild grasses lie down in wind?
It’s false to feel safe here in a hard wind.

Author’s Comment: The ghazal form offers the challenge and delight of writing couplets that are unconnected to any obvious narrative or theme. So it seemed a good fit with my thoughts about wind. In the high valley where I live in Colorado strong winds are common in spring as the snow melts away from the mesa tops and peaks. While writing it I let the wind carry my mind away to memories, both real and imagined, to present fears, and to future uncertainties. Touch and sound imagery were important to the poem and the five-beat line came when I wrote the first line.

Bio: Beth Paulson lives in Ouray County, Colorado, where she teaches writing classes and leads Poetica, a bi-monthly workshop for area poets. Her poems have appeared nationally in over a hundred literary magazines and anthologies. Her third book, Wild Raspberries, was published by Plain View Press in 2009. Beth has had poems nominated for 2007, 2009, and 2011 Pushcart Prizes, and she received a Best of the Net nomination for 2012. Her website is http://www.wordcatcher.org.

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